New Course For Budding Geologists Starts In Huddersfield

By Ben Miller | 20 January 2009
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A picture of a slab of grey rock

Rocks and fossils are among the topics covered in The Tolson Museum's new course. Pic © Kirklees Museums and Galleries

Geology fans are being given expert academic tuition on fossils and the composition of the earth as part of a new course launched at The Tolson Museum in Huddersfield yesterday (January 19 2009).

Palaeontologist Bill Paley is leading the weekly sessions, drawing on the rich geological collections surrounding Kirklees to explore syllabus topics including mineralogy, earthquakes and plate tectonics, igneous and sedimentological processes and metamorphism, structure and maps.

The course is the latest in a productive partnership between Kirklees Museums and Galleries and the Workers Educational Association, which aims to incorporate local historical artefacts and heritage in teaching programmes.

“We have run a variety of courses over the years in conjunction with the WEA,” explains Sarah Hughes, Education and Outreach Officer for the museum. “I was responsible for setting up the partnership with the WEA to provide adult learning opportunities within our museum sites which promote access to our service and our collections.

A picture of a molten green earth composition with a purple neon background

Local palaeontologist Bill Paley explores the composition of the earth in the weekly sessions. Pic © Kirklees Museums and Galleries

“I meet regularly with my colleague within the WEA, Linda Croft, Course Co-ordinator for the WEA in Kirklees and Calderdale, and between us we look at the various aspects of our museums and collections which fit with the tutors available through the WEA to decide on an ongoing programme of courses for our sites.”

These have included using aspects of the galleries at the museum to examine particular periods in Huddersfield’s history, a course revisiting the history of the textile industry, an Ancient Egypt course based on artefacts from the nearby Bagshaw Museum and a site-specific project looking at local sites which feature in work by the Bronte sisters.

“We are planning a course looking at the Luddites in the local area at our Red House site, which is close to the site of the Luddite attack on Rawfold’s Mill in 1812,” says Hughes. “The attack on Rawfold’s Mill is one of the incidents featured in fictionalised form in Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley, which features Red House as Briarmains.”

Snapping up a place before they sell out is the first test for any prospective student. At less than the price of a trip to London, it would have come as little surprise to Hughes and her team that the geology course was fully booked.

Call 01484 223803 or email sarah.hughes@kirklees.gov.uk for details of future courses.

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