It is with sadness that we announce the death of Neil Plummer. Neil made an enormous contribution to the RGSC over many years and was awarded the Bolitho Gold Medal in 2020 as a result. 

This picture of Neil was taken in Sept 2018, after he led a field trip of U3A budding  geologists down Rosevale Mine, a privately owned former tin mine, situated at Zennor, near St Ives.

His wife Beatrice Kerno said: "I would like to thank you for the messages of sympathy and especially the recognition of what a fantastic person Neil was. He lived for his rocks and fossils and Cornwall and planning, aiming in his 40 years as a Kerrier and Cornwall Councillor, to keep Cornwall from being covered in concrete. He fought fiercely for the protection of the World Heritage Mining Sites"



An historic moment was reached on 15 February 2020, at the Annual General Meeting of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall (RGSC) held in St John’s Hall, Penzance. For the first time in its 206 year organisational life, since establishment in 1814, a woman has been elected as its President. 

Dr Christopher Page handing over the Presidency to Professor Frances Wall at the AGM

The retiring President, Dr Christopher Page, BSc, PhD, FLS standing down for health reasons, welcomed this choice with enthusiasm and expectation of greater links and connections to the current educational systems in Cornwall today.

Professor Frances Wall, Professor of Applied Mineralogy at the Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, has accepted the distinguished position in understanding of the critical roles that environmental and earth sciences issues play in all of our lives. 

She is no stranger to scientific contribution, and in 2019 received the Geological Society of London’s William Smith Medal in recognition for international excellence in the publication of research findings and achievements in the application of geosciences.

Frances was listed in 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining (Women in Mining 2016), and she has served as former President of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Assisting in the administration of the Society will be a new Vice-President, Dr Loveday Jenkin, with a background in botany and biochemistry and a PhD in plant biochemistry from Cambridge University.

Dr Melissa Hardie-Budden, was also appointed Corresponding Secretary. 

A new series of Transactions, exhibitions, lectures and workshops will be forthcoming to include publications focusing on geological, mineralogical and climatologically-based studies here in southwest Devon and Cornwall.  Thus, will be continued the long tradition of ‘citizen science’ which has always been the hallmark of the RGSC, from its earliest roots in the Industrial Revolution.

Honouring his enormous contribution to the RGSC over the recent turbulent period in which St. John’s Hall was devolved to Cornwall Council and underwent reconstruction, the Bolitho Gold Medal of the RGSC 2019 was presented in absentia  due to illness, to Joseph Neil Plummer.  His wife, Beatrice A Kerno, Hon Treasurer, accepted this Medal on his behalf.

The Annual Lecture ‘The Greening of Planet Earth and its Consequences’ was delivered to a rapt audience by Professor Dianne Edwards, MA, PhD, ScD (Cantab), CBE, FRS, FRSE, FLS, Research Professor at the School of Earth and Oceanic Sciences, Cardiff University. Her travels from Wales to Penzance in the face of Storm Dennis was much appreciated.