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Newsletter No. 202

The Black Country Geological Society

August 2010

At Cleeve Cloud, Lower Freestone is exposed overlying Pea Grit (Upper Crickley Member), with cross beds of sub-marine oolitic dunes indicating shallow shelf conditions with associated tidal and wave activity. This exposure, a large landslip backscar, also shows tension cracks and washed out gullies. Looking westwards across the hazy Severn Valley towards May Hill the landscape is underlain by Lower Jurassic clays and Triassic Mercia Mudstone, represented by a ridge of Arden Sandstone. Further along the escarpment the final exposure was the base of the fossiliferous Crickley Member resting on Lower Jurassic grey clayey sand. We returned to the top of Cleeve Common via a steeply sloping path up through a tension crack opened up by ground movements, before following the top of the escarpment back across the golf course to Wickfield Quarry.

I would like to thank Dave for another very interesting trip and look forward to the next one. ■

Andy Harrison

Land lines - GeoArt Exhibition

Land lines, Sue Halstead’s exhibition of paintings based on the geology of Dudley, is still on at Dudley Museum and Art Gallery until the 19th September. Land lines features paintings inspired by visits to the Wren’s Nest Nature Reserve and the caverns underneath the town.

Sue grew up in and around Matlock, on the edge of the Peak District, and has been fascinated with rocks and fossils all of her life. “As a child, I walked past caves and cliff faces everyday on my way home from school. That landscape has become part of my identity. I am interested in how landscape and geology shape our lives”.

Visits to the Wren's Nest began as the bid to win the Peoples' Millions got under way back in 2007, with the aim of turning the site into a visitor attraction. “I had heard about the bid, and went just out of curiosity. I was amazed at what I found there. The dramatic landscape and the sheer number of fossils, some of them so tiny and detailed, inspired me straight away. I began thinking about what else might be under there”.

The Land lines paintings are the result. Many show cross- sections of the earth underneath Dudley, and Sue has also been inspired by geological maps and diagrams in her interpretations of the strata in the rock. Trained as a textiles designer, the paintings also reflect Sue’s interest in the subtle colours, patterns and textures of the rocks. Sue now teaches Textiles Design at King Edward VI College in Stourbridge.

Sue will be working in the gallery during the Fossil Identification day on 18th August, when she will be available to talk about her work. She also offers a range of greetings cards and limited edition prints of her paintings.

For more info see www.suehalstead.co.uk or e-mail suehalstead@hotmail.co.uk

Have a look at our website at: www.bcgs.info

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