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RECENT ACTIVITY OF THE FRIENDS OF DUDLEY CASTLE

Friends of Dudley Castle – Summer Social – 26th July 2011

 

 

This was part of a celebration of the 22nd birthday of the Friends of Dudley Castle, and to mark the occasion one of the Committee produced a birthday cake which was cut by the Chairman, John Griffin, as can be seen in the photograph shown below.

 

 

The chairman made a short speech acknowledging the anniversary and asked members to start thinking what could be done in the next 22 years to further promote the Castle. As little activity had taken place in recent years, he suggested that the Friends should actively seek ways in which the heritage of the Castle could be publicised and brought to the forefront of Dudley’s attractions.

 

 

By way of trying to extend the scope of the Friends, an invitation was sent to the Friends of Priory Park to join us on what was hoped would be a pleasant evening, but unfortunately they were unable to make it.

 

 

Nevertheless, those Friends who did come enjoyed the late evening sunshine, a host of different ‘tasties’ and drinks, as well as convivial conversation until, as the sun dropped, it was time to leave.

(Photographs by courtesy - Mike Hessey)

 

 

In June 2011, the Friends of Dudley Castle, at one of their regular meetings, were treated to a guided tour of a small part of the Wren’s Nest National Nature Reserve. The tour was led by Graham Worton, a tremendously well-informed and enthusiastic local geologist. It was a fascinating and most enjoyable two hour ‘trek’ just over the most obvious area of geological rock formations stretching way back in history to a period when this country was placed somewhere in the tropics, before it’s collision with the land mass which is now North America and it’s consequent propulsion into the northern hemisphere where it is today, bringing with it a part of that North American land, which is now known as Scotland.

The pictures attached to this report show, first, the initial gathering in the car park at Dudley College’s campus at Mons Hill.

Secondly, we saw the mosaic plaque commemorating the establishment of the reserve as a National reserve in 1956, the first and only one in this country.

 

The third picture shows the ‘Dudley bug’ a carved wooden seat at the entrance to the Mons Hill area, as we descended to look at the different types of limestone rock that pervade the site.

It was surprising to find that a group of local youngsters actually joined us on this first part of the journey back in time, and they demonstrated that they knew more about the facts of the reserve than we did, mainly as they had studied it as part of their schoolwork!

Looking at some of the projecting slabs of rock was just as if we were looking at something that had always been there, looking like it does today, until Graham explained how the changes in the earth’s atmosphere and temperature had allowed shifts in the earth’s crust, moving things around so much that formerly level ‘plains’ of silt had been compressed and then tilted wildly into almost vertical sheets of limestone etc.

This tour took us back some 430 million years.

The walk finished back at the local college campus and we were offered a further walk on another day to explore some more, including the Seven Sisters – caverns often visited by local people before they had to be infilled for safety’s sake a mere few years ago.

All who were there are really looking forward to the next visit!

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