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Mind the Gap

jklhPeter Worsley is organising a special rail and river field excursion to the Goring Gap.

Separating the Chilterns chalk from the Berkshire Downs chalk, Goring Gap is arguably the most impressive fluvial landform in Britain.  From the Jurassic lowlands around Oxford, the River Thames flows anomalously across the Chalk upland of the Chiltern Hills/Berkshire Downs via ‘The Gap’ and then enters the London Basin, initially onto the Lower Tertiary (Lambeth Group) in the Reading area. 

In 1895 the Geologists’ Association (GA) held an ‘Excursion to the Goring Gap’ under the leadership of Survey geologists William Whitaker and J F Blake (Proc. Geol. Ass. 14, 175-6).  The GA party of 50 arrived at Reading Station and walked to the river at the Thames Promenade where they embarked on the steam-launch Fashion.  This took them up river to Goring through the incised stretch of the Thames.  There they walked west into Berkshire and climbed Streatley Hill before returning to Goring in Oxfordshire.  They boarded the launch again and sailed upstream a little before returning to Reading.  It is proposed to repeat the 1895 excursion as precisely as possible.

The 2016 excursion will commence at Reading railway station on June 11, which is 10-15 minutes’ walk from the same landing stage as used in 1895.  The ‘Caversham Princess’ has been chartered for the day and will be available for boarding from 09.30.  The vessel has ample space and both decks are covered.  There is a bar with real ale and other drinks.  Scenically this reach is undoubtedly the finest on the entire Thames. 

Departure is scheduled for 10.00 and the initial journey will take between 2 - 2.5 hrs (two locks have to be passed). 

The excursion will welcome all geoscientists and partners.  They do not have to be members of the GA. 

Tickets are £25 per person.  Booking details are to follow. 

For more information, W: