Brian, Joyce and Jack - May 2013
Updated October 2015
I retired in 1997 Joyce and I have lived at Bosham, near Chichester,
together with our Yorkshire/Jack Russell terriers 'Sparky', and now
'Jack'. I try to keep my interest in geology going mainly by continued
membership of the Geological Society of London and the Geologists
Association, and by usually visiting geologically interesting places on
holiday! I particularly enjoy reading ‘Geology Today’ and any books
with a good general geological interest.
In 2000 I
joined a sponsored trek to Patagonia in aid of Mencap, which was
generously supported by many of our Geology graduates.
got a shock in 2003 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, but after
a mastectomy (!) and radiotherapy, I'm now fully recovered.
like keeping in touch with our graduates, and in 2004 went to a
Tectonics Conference in South Africa where I stayed part of the time
with Allan Arnold, 1967, and his family. I also met Jane Carr
(Enderby), 1983, Mike Lynn, 1984 and Simon Johnson, 1994. The
Conference included visits to the Bushveld Complex and the Limpopo Fold
belt. In 2006, I helped David Whiting lead the Earthquake and Volcanic
Risk Assessment course to Campania, Italy.
Joyce and I were members of Chichester University of the Third Age for some
years and we have taken geology groups on several overseas trips.
We were also members of Chichester’s classical music society ‘Music on
Sundays’ and I was their Secretary for nine years. Unfortunately, the club has now closed.
We are quite involved with the Bosham village community and until
recently enjoyed sailing my
Wayfarer from Cobnor. For four years I was a Community Governor at
Bosham Primary School. For some years Joyce has been producing
performances for 'The Bosham
Old-Timers' - a music hall style variety group, which I also am
involved with. Apart from that we have seven children, twelve
grandchildren and one great grandchild (!) between us and can recommend
an active retirement - we have recently had our 80th birthdays!
April 2009 I joined the field trip to examine Dinosaur Habitats of the
Isle of Wight led by Dave Martill and Andy Gale of the Portsmouth
Geology Department and organised by the newly-formed Solent Group of
The Geological Society.
Some of the group giving the thumbs up for a fine Iguadon footprint at Hanover Point.
Updated 5 Nov. 2011
Nick Walton 'appeared' on BBC Radio Solent
(96.1 FM) over a period of 92 plus weeks, (why 92 you ask
yourselves ....... ?), at 10-40 am on the Jon Cuthill show,
giving a 10-minute interview on each individual Chemical Element in the
Periodic Table (hence the 92 weeks). He started on Tues. 28 July 2009
with Hydrogen following with Helium etc etc .......
Nick in his broadcasting studio!
Advice for all Earth Science Lecturers - How to Organize and Run a Geology Field Trip...
1. Plan to visit far more sites than you can reasonably expect to visit
during the allotted time available for the trip. The success of a
geology field trip is measured by how much ground you cover, the number
of outcrops you visit, and how fast you do it.
Make sure that your field trip covers the maximum topographic relief
possible in your area, preferably within one stop. If your area
includes a hill or mountain of any kind, make sure that climbing it is
on the itinerary. If the outcrop on top of the mountain is essentially
the same as what is at the foot of the mountain, climb it anyway. Then
you can show people how thick the unit is. If there is no outcrop on
top of the mountain, climb it anyway. Mountain tops are unsurpassed as
settings for arm-waving. Remember, real geologists don't need reasons
to climb mountains.
3. Be sure to include
stops that you've never visited before, or haven't visited for 30
years. Searching for a new or barely remembered outcrop is part of the
fun of a field trip, especially if you're leading a large group.
Everybody can help look! The fun can be maximized if the outcrop is at
the end of a long hike through tick-infested woods or a large cow
pasture full of thistles, burdock and cow paddies.
Be sure to include stops that have plenty of sentimental value for you,
even if there's nothing to see. "This is the black shale outcrop where
I collected the first rock for my thesis." Also include sites of
historical interest. "This concrete abutment covers the spot where
George Spudge defined the type locality of the Mullet Formation. The
Mullet Formation was later abandoned when it was discovered to be part
of the Clinton Formation. There used to be some great fossils here, but
they're all covered up now by the concrete abutment." Don't let the
fact that there is nothing to see at an outcrop stop you from visiting
it. "This outcrop is full of acritarchs. You can't see them, but
they're there. Put away that rock hammer! We don't have permission to
collect here." The farther you have to hike to visit these, the better.
5. Whatever you do, don't postpone the
field trip for any meteorological reason. Remember that blizzards,
tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and freezing rain are just part of
Earth's dynamic system, and will make the field trip more interesting.
Students who don't enjoy looking at outcrops in freezing rain shouldn't
be going into geology anyway. The only reason to postpone a field trip
is if you discover that it conflicts with an important sporting event.
During the field trip, make sure that you move your group from one
outcrop to the next as fast as you can make them run. The faster you
go, the better a geologist you prove yourself to be. Spend as little
time at a given outcrop as possible. People who want to lollygag at
outcrops to take pictures, write notes, collect samples and study the
outcrop are just wasting your time and everyone else's. If they are so
interested, they should come back to the site later, on their own time.
A good judge of how much time to spend at an outcrop is to wait until
the last stragglers come into view, and then move on. That way, the
fast people will have a chance to rest, but the stragglers won't, and
maybe that will convince the stragglers to get out of geology and leave
the field to those who can take it like a man!
During the mountain-climbing part of the trip, make sure that the group
ascends the mountain as fast as possible. You can then relax and spend
a fair bit of time on the top while waiting for people to stop vomiting
and having asthma attacks. At the top of the mountain, you can go into
a grand, sweeping lecture on the stratigraphy of the region, pointing
out distant features of regional significance. You should do this even
if the features are obscured by rain, snow, sleet or haze.
Don't waste time scheduling stops for meals or use of the restroom.
Meals can be eaten from a bag lunch while running from one outcrop to
another. And anyone who can't figure out how to pee and poop outdoors
shouldn't be in geology. That goes for women, too, and if there's no
place for her to hide to drop her drawers and do her business, she
should just do it out in the open. After all, what does she think she
has that everyone on the trip hasn't seen already?
And speaking of women, don't let any of them convince you to make an
unscheduled stop at a store to buy feminine hygiene products. They're
supposed to know when they're going to need them, and plan accordingly.
Likewise, make it clear from the beginning that you're not going to
have any unscheduled stops for any reason: injuries
incurred on the trip (people need to learn to be careful), forgotten
lunch, drinks or medicine (tell them to do without, and they'll
remember next time), diarrhea attacks (they can hold it until the next
stop), and other hokey excuses that students will come up with to get
you to stop.
10. When talking about an
outcrop, use the most esoteric language possible to prove that you're
the best geologist there, and if you don't know any really
technical-sounding stuff, you can always make up some words or
abbreviations that will awe the students and humble your colleagues
(like referring to river mouth bars as RMBs, for example).
There is no need to cut a field trip short if it gets dark before
you're finished. You can look at roadcuts by the headlights of your
van, and other outcrops with flashlights.
the success of a geology field trip is measured by how much ground you
cover, the number of outcrops you visit, and how fast you do it!
Anon. ( Of course, Portsmouth field trips are not quite like this. )