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Geological Society 'Students' Instructional Tours'

Geoff Townson is trying to piece together a bit of Geol Soc history and needs your help – before it’s too late!

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the last Students’ Instructional Tour organised by the Geological Society.  Geoff Townson, who attended the 1967 tour, recently discovered his field notebook, including the attendance list (picture) and is interested in writing a piece for Geoscientist to mark the occasion.

iuyPicture: The 1967 tour, which also shows that confusion over the apostrophe is nothing new.  Among those attending, apart from Geoff Townson, we note a certain R B Beck, former editor of British Geologist and of this magazine, its post-1991 successor… 


In 1945, Dr G M Lees and Mr P Evans, Directors of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. Ltd. and the Burmah Oil Co. Ltd., offered the Society £750 a year to run an instructional tour for Honours students in geology.  The committee formed to advise Council recommended that the first tour be held in 1946 and that heads of the geologyl departments in universities and analogous institutions be asked to nominate students.

The original intention of these tours was to enable a selection of students from British universities to visit some major classic regions in British geology.  The idea was to get an integrated picture of stratigraphical and structural relations, and the influence of these on topography to develop a 3D picture.

Were you a lucky participant in any of these legendary tours?  Do you have photos and notebooks, and documentation relating to them?  Perhaps you have some reminiscences to share, or material photographic or documentary, that might be of use to Geoff and to the Society Archive.   If so, Geoff would like to hear from you.

  • If you have memories and material to share with Geoff, please contact him initially on E: as soon as possible before the end of December 2016 please.