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We sent a car containing 'The Goodtime Girls' to the Treasure Hunt and a 'Goodtime' was had by all. A great day and many thanks to Mike for organising it. There were prizes for all and we won a beautiful specimen that will now form part of our exhibition collection. Mikes report follows:-

Specimen of tourmaline and feldspar This is a specimen of Tourmaline and Feldspar from the West of Oslo in Norway

 

Report of the ‘Geological Treasure trail and Dinosaur hunt in Hertfordshire’ on Saturday 18th of September 2004 organised by the Amateur Geological Society

A beautifully clear and sunny morning saw six car loads of assorted geologists and natural history buffs meet at the Standon stone in Standon village, Hertfordshire. The ‘stone’ is a superbly rounded boulder of Hertfordshire Puddingstone, which looks as though it had been sculpted by Henry Moore. But it is incorrectly described!

‘I’ve stood alone through frost and hail,

but what is wrong then with my tale’ was the clue.

The AGS provided the ‘Hop-alongs’, ‘Meditative Meanderers’ and the aptly named ‘Lost in Arcadians’; and yes, they did get lost – missing the answer session entirely. The Harrow and Hillingdon Geological Society sported a bevy of ‘Good-time Girls’, and the Cheshunt Natural History Society the ‘Hoedowners’ and the appropriately attired ‘Superheroes’. Super-woman, Spider-woman and Robin, all leotards and swirling capes, swept across the countryside, startling horses and innocent villagers.

The O.S. maps provided certainly came in handy and the organiser and his assistant placed themselves at strategic points, two tea rooms and a pub, to give additional directions and monitor progress. After searching for a variety of dinosaur (really dragon) sites everyone made it to the first café for a hearty, in some cases over-long, lunch and a look at the dino-birds – in fact Rheas - kept by the Old Swan Tea Shop’s owner.

The weather deteriorated in the afternoon but spirits were not dampened as boulders of Granite and Gneiss were identified, bedding angles measured and Ice Age relict faunas brought to light - The flatworms Crenobia alpina and Polycelis felina for those who really need to know.

We finally finished up at the Ashwell Parish Rooms for tea and biscuits and a visit to the Ashwell Village Museum next door which was opened up especially for us. The answers were given, with some disagreement and complaints that Newts should have been the answer to a clue which obviously referred to Dragonflies. O.K., maybe I should have given them half marks!

The ‘Meditative Meanderers’must have meandered pretty rapidly and done some serious geological meditating as they came first with 16 out of a possible 23 points and even the last team would have got an ‘A’ on current Maths exam grading.

Luckily, when the time came to wend our ways back home the skies had cleared.

Our special thanks should go to AGS members who provided the prizes, the farmer at locality 2 who moved his animals into an adjacent field for the day, the owners of the ‘Old Swan Tea Rooms’ and the custodians of the Ashwell Village Museum; not forgetting of course those members of other societies who joined in so enthusiastically and made the day so successful.

For those who could not attend this fun and informative event I hope to have the ‘Trail’ and the ‘Answers’ in the AGS’s 40th anniversary Journal.

Mike Howgate.

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