A short history of the Mid-Week Geology Group Yorkshire

The Mid-Week Geology Group was inaugurated in May 1994 by a couple of retired amateur geologist members of the Leeds Geological Association. They invited other like-minded members to form an informal Mid-week group who would, by working together, deepen their knowledge and understanding of the geology of Yorkshire and the north-east of England.

This informal group decided to arrange geological field study meetings in the middle of the week around the middle of each month. These mid-week geological field-trips were based on the itineraries described in field guides produced by the Yorkshire Geological Society, the Cumberland Geological Society and the Geologists' Association.

Because of the connections of one of the group members with the Fell and Rock Climbing Club, mid-week breaks in the Lake District in the springtime were organised using the facilities of their various bunkhouses.

The informal group decided that it was not necessary to have a management committee but every few months, during a lunch break, the members discussed the next few field-trips they would run and who would recce and organise each of these.

The members committed themselves to the group by providing Stamped Addressed Envelopes (SAE's) to one of the members who would compile and distribute the latest newsletter giving details of the planned mid-week trips and springtime breaks. A small contribution was collected from the members attending each of the field-trips to help defray the costs of preparing these newsletters and other expenses.
All of this became the foundation structure of the Mid-Week Geology Group and is still the basis under which the MWGG operates.

As the group expanded to around fifty members, it was decided that a formal Treasurer should handle the funds of the group and it should be covered for insurance through the Geologists' Association. It was also decided that an Annual Subscription, instead of a collection at each field meeting, would be levied.

Instead of just one person taking on the responsibility of organising field-trips and distributing the newsletter, a team of four or five people now arrange the next year's field-trips and publish the latest half yearly newsletter via an e-mail or SAE to all members. Various members arrange to take the group round field-trips and provide a handout covering the geological objectives of the trip. Often the team will arrange for a local amateur or professional geologist to lead the outing.

For many years the Mid-Week Geology Group has had an Annual General Meeting in early December. The AGM agenda includes the Annual Lecture, a luncheon, the presentation of the annual accounts and the way forward, including the location of the next spring-time mid-week break and members' thoughts and suggestions for next year's field-trips and any other business.



William "Strata" Smith's 1815 geological map

William Smith produced local geological maps for the south of England and in 1815 he published the world's first complete geological map of Britain. The accuracy of his geological understanding two centuries ago was so good that modern day geological maps show little difference from his work.

The locations of the Mid-Week Geology Group mid-week springtime breaks are highlighted on the copy of William Smith's geological map.


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