Members' Page


Please find below details of the Annual General Meeting for 2019

  • Invitation
  • Agenda
  • Minutes of the last AGM (2018)
  • Secretary's Report
  • Treasurer's Report
  • Treasurer's Update
  • President's Report






Afterwards you are also cordially invited to the Annual Dinner

at 6.00 pm for 6.30 pm 

at The Queens Hotel, The Promenade, Penzance, TR18 4HG              

We are leaving the first home of our Society. The theatrical & cock fighting distractions sharing this venue two centuries ago, caused our founding fathers to move within the year to a quieter venue in Chapel Street, before moving on to The Market House, then to North Parade.  However now, following an AGM in our newly restored Penzance home, formerly The West Wing, St John's Hall, we move down Morrab Road to the Majestic QUEENS HOTEL to round off the day, following    The Annual Lecture given at the AGM by Dr John Grimes

Dr John Grimes, BSc, MSc, PhD, CENG, FICE, FGS, IMaPS

Subsidence within the Gunnislake Mining District”

collapse 1992, investigation, remedial works & lessons learnt




To be held at St. Johns Hall in the Alverne Room on Saturday 16 February 2019

Registration and signing in at 1.30pm and AGM to start promptly at 2.00 pm.


  1. Welcome and opening of meeting and signing in. (and recorded in the minutes) To announce the loss of our life member John Shrimpton BSc., ACSM., MSc.,FGS.,MBE.  A stalwart member, lifetime supporter, former curator and Council Member

  2. Brief Health & Safety Statement by Beatrice Kerno

  3. Apologies received to be read out by the Secretary and received verbally from the floor.

  4. Receipt of the Minutes of the last AGM 2018

  5. Matters Arising not on the Agenda - None notified. Target time 2.30 pm

2019 New Business

  1. Secretary’s Report including to note Programme of events proposed for first quarter of 2019 and other items. Target time 3.00 pm

  2. Treasurer’s Report Annual Accounts 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018. President to propose a vote of thanks to Beatrice Kerno

  3. Brief Update statement by Treasurer – Assets held in January 2019

  4. President’s Report

  5. Election of Officers as recommended by the President and the Council. Target time 3.30pm

  6. Council recommendation that the next AGM is held on Saturday 15th February 2020

  7. Any Urgent Matters recommended by the Council – a) Co-option to Council. b) Fire Station c) Transaction - Fossils.

  8. Closure of the AGM Target time 4pm

Coffee & Teas whilst preparations are made to hear our ……………..

  1. AGM Annual Address

SUBSIDENCE WITHIN THE GUNNISLAKE MINING AREA” The collapses of 1992, investigation, remedial works and lessons learnt

By Dr John Grimes BSc.,MSc.,PhD.,CEng.,FICE.,FGS.,IMaPS.

 15. Target 5.50pm departure from St John’s Hall and departure to the Town and Queen’s Hotel, Promenade, Penzance for our Annual Dinner 6.00 pm for 6.30 pm


Minutes of the Last AGM held on 17 February 2018

  1. President’s Welcome. Everyone was welcomed to the meeting and requested to sign the attendance register.

Members present: Neil Plummer, BA Kerno, Roger Holmes, Clare Page, Adrian Spalding, David Freeman, Melissa Hardie, Frances Wall, David Holt, Chris Page, Marian Smith, Sid Geake, Keith Plummer, Frank Howie, June Markham, Colin Bristow.

From 2.45 pm - Nick Farrell,

From 3.00 pm - Jim Eggleton

From 3.50 pm - Loveday Jenkin

Plus Caradoc Peters, Tamsin Page.


  1. Brief Health & Safety Statement from Beatrice Kerno

  2. Apologies were read out and listed as follows: - John Shrimpton, Chris & Caroline Bean, V Stone, Rosemary Stone, Horace Stone, Miriam Stone, Marion ?, Karen Harrowing, Jacky Caklais, Charles Smith, Lesley Allen.

     Members stood in memory of John Elliot and Keith Atkinson

    John Elliot was a great help to the Society during the difficult years and without him things might have turned out very differently. He was a quiet man, but very strong                willed and fought for us like no other.

    John was a dedicated Life Member. He was very involved (along with David Freeman), in the production of the complex Index of the Subjects and Authors of the RGSC          from our published Transactions from 1814 to 2015. He was very pleased that our publishing continued, and he helped in the setting up of our new Library, which is soon to      be opened in the Old Fire station

    Keith Atkinson was President of the RGSC in 1996 and in 1998 he was awarded the William Bolitho Gold Medal for Services to Geology. He was a Council Member until       2002. He was a softly spoken gentleman in all respects and was always ready to give help. There is an obituary by the CSM, mentioning the setting up of a Scholarship in his      memory. Keith’s wife, Maureen Atkinson, has now joined the Society, aware of the importance of keeping the membership numbers up.

  1. Receipt of the Minutes of the last AGM 2017 (already circulated) Proposed by the President and Seconded by J. N. Plummer. These were unanimously accepted.

  2. Matters Arising

  • Morrab Community Project Melissa Hardie raised the need to forge links between the RGSC and the Morrab Community Project (which involves Cornwall Council, the Penzance Town Council, Hypatia Trust and Morrab Library). She pointed out that a Management Team needed to be built and invited one or two members of the RGSC. Frank Howie and Tamsin Page were proposed as well as J. N. Plummer and Adrian Spalding. This was unanimously agreed.

  • Joint Archive/Museum meeting at Tremough. Francis Wall of CSM, invited RGSC members to a Museum meeting on 19th March 2018. Roger Holmes, Frank Howie and Council Members will attend.

  • Proposed Transaction Colin Bristow mentioned that Joseph Collins published a review of Fossils of Cornwall at the turn of the century. The suggestion to publish Mark Becket’s Fossils of Cornwall as a RGSC Transaction was Proposed by Roger Holmes and Seconded by Frank Howie. It was agreed unanimously. The Referees will be Chris Page and Robin Shale. After much discussion, it was agreed that, in addition to the paper copy, (usual format) the Transaction would also be in PDF format. Members would receive copies as part of their Membership with further copies to be on sale at agreed outlets. The idea of gaining sponsorship was discussed. David Freeman commented that this new Transaction, on The Fossils of Cornwall, will be a good milestone in the history of the RGSC, having the longest continuous publication of Transactions in the world.


  1. Secretary’s Report

     Allet Meetings and Field Trips and Outside Visits held during 2017 were detailed.

    Allet Meetings proposed for the first three months of 2018

February. Marine Life on the Manacles Reef 10 years of seasearch surveys and marine photography, showing the richness of fauna and flora of the Cornish Continental Shelf and its importance to sustainable fishing in Cornwall. Matt Slater is the Marine Awareness Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

March. “A Touch of Froth” Flotation, Metal Recovery and the Importance of Stable Bubbles by Dr Katherine Hadler PhD. MEng. Lecturer at Imperial College, London and part time Senior Metallurgist at Grinding Solutions Ltd. Cornwall,

April. Cornish Lithium – A New Metal from an Old Mining Area & the Metal of the Future. Jeremy Wrathall, Founder and Director of the Cornish Lithium Company will speak on the potential opportunities of the Cornish resources of this metal for European and World Markets.

Field Visits planned for 2018

  • Crustal Stretching at Porthleven then to Jangye-ryn to view folding.

  • Penlee Quarry

  • Meet at Pralla, (Porthallow) walk coastal path to view Men Aver Conglomerates from Central Europe.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

  2. Treasurer’s Update

  3. President’s Report

The President gave an address which updated the years activities and gave thanks to all who helped in every capacity.

Discussion was encouraged on the ‘Scientific Aims of the Society’ and finding ways to encourage young people.

  1. Election of Officers

As recommended by the Council and proposed by the President (en bloc)

Secretary: J N Plummer

Treasurer: B A Kerno

Council of 4 members: Carodoc Peters, Adrian Spalding, Loveday Jenkin, June Markham.

This was seconded from the floor and agreed.

  1. Council recommendation that the next AGM is Saturday 16 February 2019

Members agreed this date.

  1. Any urgent matters recommended by the Council


  1. Closure of the AGM

  2. Presidential Address by Dr Chris Page BSc.,PhD.,F.L.S.

Does our geosphere need its green mantle? Some past, present and future perspectives.

  1. Target Departure of 5.50 pm from St John’s Hall was achieved and departure to the Town and Queen’s Hotel, Promenade, Penzance for our Annual Dinner.


Secretary’s Report 

       Allet Meetings during 2018

      Wed 21st February. Marine Life on the Manacles Reef 10 years of sea search surveys and marine photography, showing the richness of fauna and flora of the Cornish Continental Shelf. Matt Slater is the Marine Awareness Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust and showed underwater film of the Reef, explaining its importance to sustainable fishing in Cornwall.

Wed 21st March. “A Touch of Froth” Flotation, Metal Recovery and the Importance of Stable Bubbles by Dr Katherine Hadler PhD. MEng. Lecturer at Imperial College, London and part time Senior Metallurgist at Grinding Solutions Ltd. Cornwall.

Wed 18th April. Cornish Lithium – A New Metal from an Old Mining Area & the Metal of the Future. Jeremy Wrathall, (Founder and Director of the Cornish Lithium Company, a graduate in Mining Engineering at CSM with 30 years’ experience in the Mining Finance Industry globally) was unable to present the lecture, due to a Conference commitment. It was given in his absence by Lucy Crane, Senior Geologist at the Cornish Lithium Company, speaking on the potential opportunities of the Cornish resources of this metal for European and World Markets.

Wed 20th June. Mineral Analysis at CSM – The What, The How and the Why! Dr Gavin Rollinson, Experimental Officer and Facility Manager (Chemical Imaging and Mineralogy Facility, CSM).

Wed 18th July. An invitation by Dr Gavin Rollinson for members to visit CSM Penryn Campus to view the Museum, learn about current research and to see the mineral analysis facilities.

Wed 15th August. A talk by Mark M Becket B. Eng. Assoc. CSM, showing a short preview of his lifetime study and love of Cornish Fossils and Fossil Localities

Wed 19th September. Icelandic Volcanism, a talk by Dr Kate-Taylor Smith B.Sc (Hons)., Ph.D. Project Manager CSM

Wed 17th October. A Member’s Evening which was both social and informative, where members were invited to bring specimens, photographs and papers for discussion, sharing information about their items and learning from the broad range of knowledge within the Society.

Wed 21st November. Near Surface Geophysics in West Cornwall. A talk given by Neill Wood. B.Sc., (Eng) Hons. V.R., A.R.S.M., F.H.E.A., Programme director for M.Sc. Surveying and Land/Environmental Management CSM and Executive Director of GeoDefinition Ltd (a geophysical site investigation company.)

Field Trips and Outside Meetings during 2018

Mon 19th March. Meeting at CSM (Tremough) at the invitation of Francis Wall, with RGSC, CSM, RIC. to discuss combining scientific bodies in Cornwall with a view to finding a joint venue for the storage of archives.

Sun 10th June. Visit to Jangy Ryn, Gunwalloe, to view the rocks and structural geology including folding.

Wed 22nd August. Another visit to see the progress at Rosevale Mine. Always a popular visit, Tony Bennett has a never-ending supply of anecdotes and information about the mine’s past and about mining in general.

Sat 22nd September. Visit to Penlee Quarry guided by Cornishman Barry Ninnis, using his great knowledge of the quarry and also previous experience and “way of life” as a Smallholder and Geevor miner.


Co-operation between members created a publicity poster for the RGSC which was distributed at the Man Engine appearances at Heartlands and Geevor. Special thanks are due to Linda Beskeen, for ensuring that the flyers also got to the school children at the Junior Mining Games.

RGSC Collection Catalogues

David Freeman intended to retrieve the Catalogues of the RGSC Collection, housed in Nottingham, but ill health prevented him making the trip.


Treasurer's Report














Geology Association PL Insurance












IT Stocks for Transaction






























Hypatia Trust Printing












Total Expenses




Total Income


RGSC Finances are represented by our Current Account.

The opening statement No 294

April 2017 - £25,611.70

The closing statement No 308

March 2018 - £25,454.60

Treasurer's Update

Brief financial update of assets held in our Current Account at start of 2019

(statement No. 319) is £26,685.40




AGM Following our traditional format, we held our AGM in Penzance in March, followed by the annual dinner. The new premises provide us with a now very smart venue in which we can hold our AGM meetings in conditions of relative luxury in Penzance, and all are to be thanked for the recurrent opportunity we now have to do this. The meeting was well-attended, as was the dinner afterwards. I want to thank all who attended, and for the array of very useful and quite positive questions which were asked. I had the honour of following the formal part of the AGM by giving a talk which I asked “Does the earth need its green mantle ?”. I enjoyed ‘letting my hair down’ in preparing this presentation, with the outcome. Being “yes, it does”. I hope I provide a sufficient array of slides and evidence to support this assertion.

THE YEAR’S LECTURES We are fortunate to have had a very varied series of lectures this year. I want to express my gratitude to all the speakers, and also to the Society Secretary, Neil Plummer, who has shouldered the burden of the organisation of the lecture programme. Our policy with lectures is to keep them as varied as possible in subject focus (reflecting the broad geo-related interests and often expertise of members of this Society), and to include ones both focussing on Cornwall, as well as ones looking wider-afield to other locations, so that we are not just inward-looking, but also outward-looking, in the compass of our presentations. Judging by member attendance numbers, this overall policy seems to strike a popular balance. Within this too, I want to thank our spectrum of lecturers, for the quality as well as diversity and sometimes considerable novelty of their contributions. As well as thanking Neil Plummer, may I also please than Beatrice Kerno for her strength and support as Treasurer.

AN APOLOGY AND THANK YOU. As a busy researcher and lecturer myself, I want to record an apology for my own absence at some of the meetings, and my thanks to Neil Plummer for standing-in for me when I have not been around. This is because my own work takes me frequently afield, including myself particularly often being asked to give lectures elsewhere. So please be assured, I am far from slacking, and usually when I am not around, it is because I am representing Cornwall elsewhere. (Unfortunately, in my recent travels elsewhere in Europe, the trip ended in my being bitten by a venomous foreign snake, and I was additionally out-of-action for several weeks as a result).

A RECURENT QUESTION Of the AGM questions asked, which is probably worthy to report, because it has been asked before, is why does the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall hold its meeting in the west of the County of Cornwall, with its AGM in Penzance. The short answer is that we are following long-established tradition, especially in focussing especially on Penzance, which has always been the headquarters of our activity. I can, however, understand the feelings of others who may live further away, in a County as long as Cornwall. But this is also where most of the Cornish populus live, with Cornwall’s five main towns plus one a city: St. Austell, Truro, Redruth, Camborne, Helston and Penzance, all located in the west of the County. This also reflects that this is the general location of much of Cornwall’s heritage, especially related to past industry and mining, which is appropriate for a Geological Society (as well as a School of Mines at University of Exeter at Tremough) to continue to actively reflect, and today project forwards. There is also an advantage in having meetings at locations which are also accessible from further away easily by train. I reflected also in answer also to the fact that these are bridges that I have also crossed before. For, in a pervious incarnation (before I retired) based in Edinburgh, we also had calls from across Scotland about why we held our main biological and geological meetings always in Edinburgh. So, as scientists, in a moment of experimental enthusiasm, one year we tried holding various meetings away from base. Result, to most, few came, with the exception of several, to which no-one came. So although there were voices for regionalisation, in practise, it did not work. So my view has been coloured since, in all of these enterprises: this is “stick with what you already know works”, until there is evidence to suggest otherwise.


YEAR-ENDING CIRCUMSTANCES After what has been a remarkably successful year for the RGSC, in which I feel, thanks to all concerned, that we have gone from strength-to-strength, the year has ended in most unfortunate news on several fronts, almost at the same time. Circumstances have conspired that no less than three members of the RGSC Committee have met with unforseen circumstances, which may deplete the committee of half of its members. These include David Freeman, a very long-serving member and former Curator of the Society, and the Secretary, Neil Plummer, a former President and since long-serving Secretary. I offer both my thanks and good wishes to each of these most respected members for successful recovery. I will hope to update you on circumstances at the time of the AGM, but meanwhile may I please ask for your thoughts and support to these colleagues, who have long been amongst the most hard-working of members of this Society.


ONWARD THOUGHTS Bearing in-mind the above circumstances, it is clear to us all than none of us is getting any younger. I want to close by echoing my earlier plea (at the AGM), that my ambition with this Society is, not just to keep in going, but also to ensure it is in safe hands for the future. This means not only that we need new people to join the team, but that we particularly need YOUNGER people to join us, who may become tomorrow’s crew. If you feel you may be interested in joining the team, please do not hesitate to contact me – I shall welcome your input. Or, I shall hope to see you at the AGM.

Thank you to all for all your membership support