Thursday, 10 December 2015

1912 British Association Field Excursion to Inchnadamph - signatures

Signed copy of the North-West Higlands Memoir
Signatures in the North-West Highlands Memoir

During recent stocktaking at Murchison House, British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, a copy of the North-west Highlands Memoir (Peach et al, 1907) was found in the Palaeontological Department. It has been rebound but is in excellent condition with little signs of use and no obvious foxing. The memoir contains detailed descriptions of the Lewisian, Torridonian, Moine and Cambrian-Ordovician rocks in the Durness to Kyle of Lochalsh area, summarising the results of the survey’s detailed work there in the late 19th century. This copy patently belonged to John Horne who was Assistant Director in the Geological Survey in Scotland from 1901 until his retirement in 1911.

The fly leaf of the memoir contains the signatures of 29 attendees of the renowned 1912 excursion to Assynt, which followed on from a British Association meeting in Dundee in mid-September that year. This excursion, led by Peach and Horne, was attended by 31notable European and British geologists (see Barber, 2010). The flyleaf also contains the signatures relating to an excursion undertaken in 1914, when John Horne took a further party to Assynt. Attendees included Sir Alexander and Lady (Rachel Workman) MacRobert, but also included the well-known geologists Reginald A Daly and Professor Molengraaf. Rachel Workman, the daughter of the noted American mountaineers William and Fanny Workman, was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College and gained a degree in geology from the University of London in 1902. She undertook research and published papers on alkaline igneous rocks (e.g. carbonatite and nepheline syenite) and was one of the first women to be elected a fellow of the Geological Society in 1919. Information on the MacRobert Trust, including her ladyship’s contribution to the Second World War, can be found at The MacRobert Trust. The memoir is to be archived by BGS.

Peach, B.N., Horne, J., Gunn, W., Clough, C.T., Hinxman, L.W. & Teall, J.J.H. (1907).  The geological structure of the northwest Highlands of Scotland.  Memoirs of the Geological Survey, U.K. 

Barber, A. J. 2010. Peach and Horne: the British Association excursion to Assynt September 1912. In Law, R.D., Butler, R.W.H., Holdsworth, R.E., Krabbendam, M. and Strachan, R.A. (editors) Continental Tectonics and Mountain Building: The Legacy of Peach and Horne. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 335, 29-49.

Dr. John Mendum

Photograph of the entire party of the Assynt Excursion led by B.N. Peach and J. Horne, taken outside the Inchnadamph Hotel during September 1912. Excursion of the British Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting held in Dundee.
Photograph of the entire party of the Assynt Excursion led by B.N. Peach and J. Horne, taken outside the Inchnadamph Hotel during September 1912. Excursion of the British Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting held in Dundee.

Photograph of the foreign visitors outside the Inchnadamph Hotel, Assynt Excursion held in September 1912, led by B.N. Peach and J. Horne. Excursion of the British Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting held in Dundee.
Photograph of the foreign visitors outside the Inchnadamph Hotel, Assynt Excursion held in September 1912, led by B.N. Peach and J. Horne. Excursion of the British Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting held in Dundee.

The 1914 Excursion. Photograph outside the Inchnadamph Hotel
The 1914 Excursion. Photograph outside the Inchnadamph Hotel



Title page of the famous North-West Highlands Memoir
Title page of the famous North-west Highlands Memoir

Posted by Dr. John Mendum

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