‘Fossils and Fortunes’ Heritage Day School

image001 Following on from a series of successful Winter and Spring public lectures the Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum will host their first heritage day school entitled ‘Fossils and Fortunes’ on Saturday 6th July. Presentations will focus on the people and science behind the earth based industries and fossil discoveries in the area, and a vision of how society can play their part in conserving for the future. These activities are part of the Skinningrove Educational Heritage Project which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The Fossils and Fortunes Heritage Day School will consist of a series of talks and presentations from notable specialists based locally. Attendance is open to all, but there is limited seating and booking is essential. Although there is no formal charge, donations will be invited from the audience. Sandwich lunches can be ordered in advance. There will be an associated walk linking to many of the topics discussed to be arranged at a future date.
– John Waring, of the TVRIGS group, will start the day by setting everyone in the right frame of mind with his presentation Ages Past. Tees Valley RIGS (TVRIGS) group are concerned with conserving geodiversity in Redcar and Cleveland, Middlesborough, Hartlepool and Darlington
– The subject of ironstone, which forms the basis for much of the areas historic ‘fortune’ through the industrial heritage of the Tees valley will be addressed by Denis Goldring, who worked on mineral resources for British Steel.
– Plant fossils at Marske Quarry will explore and expand on the discoveries of early fossil collectors like Rev. John Hawell through a presentation by Denis Goldring and Andy Cooper, both of the TVRIGS group.
– Peter Appleton, one of the volunteer guides at the Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum, who is currently researching a book on the local alum industry, will talk on Alum folk. Peter presented an overview of the local alum industry to a full lecture room in February. Alum folk will focus on some of the individuals, from labourers to landowners, who were involved in the alum industry, including local geologist Louis Hunton.
– Will Watts, Head of Public Programmes at Scarborough Museums Trust, will talk on Maps & Museums – William Smith, The Rotunda Museum and the Geology of Yorkshire Coast.
– Mike Windle, Director of the NE Yorkshire Geology Trust will conclude the day with Protecting Your Earth Heritage, a forward looking presentation focused on conservation.
Jean, the Museum’s Education Officer, said: “We have been delighted at the amount of interest and support for our lecture programmes. Our last lecture on ‘Representations of Skinningrove’ presented by the Skinningrove History Group even ended in the audience breaking into song – although that wasn’t compulsory. There has been a huge amount of support for the idea of the Heritage Day School and we are really grateful to the speakers for their contributions. I hope those attending will be inspired to get more involved locally maybe through one of the participating organisations or through volunteering at the Museum.”
Anyone wishing to book on the Fossils and Fortunes Heritage Day School or is interested in events should contact Jean Banwell, the education officer on 01287 642877 or email jean@ironstonemuseum.co.uk . She would be happy to add any email addresses to a mailing list to keep people up to date with events and activities at the Museum.

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