The important bit!

This group needs a new convenor!  If no one steps up, the group will cease.

The Geology Group meets monthly for talks on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2 pm, and for field visits on an adhoc basis.  Talks are held at Townsend House, Minehead, but while COVID restrictions are in place, meetings are suspended.  Please remember to check the Calendar in case of any late changes to schedule.

Contact Cherrie Temple to find out more, at 01984 640170, or by email at  

New members are welcome to attend our meetings or join our field trips: please contact Cherrie for more information.

Latest news

The geology group had planned a field trip to Sandpoint in early May, in conjunction with Barnstaple U3A.  This has obviously been cancelled now.  I have signed up to a U3A National Geology Facebook group, which looks as if it could be quite interesting.  Cherrie Temple

Recent meetings

January 2020.  At our January meeting we thoroughly enjoyed a fun quiz with a geological theme.  This proved an interesting new way to learn.  After refreshments, we planned our programme until the summer.  New members are welcome to join us.

Previous meetings (2019)

For our meeting in October, Alan took us for a walk around Minehead town centre pointing out the rocks from nearby and afar used in the buildings, pavements and kerb stones. We saw locally made bricks, an oriel window (at the corner of Friday Street and Quirke Street) and many features we’d never noticed before. We learnt to look at first-floor level and above to see the best bits!

In July David Dickinson, Convenor of the Barnstaple U3A Geology Group, gave a fascinating talk entitled ‘Coal – where would we be without it?’ David’s wide-ranging talk included how coal is formed, its mining and uses, and the damage the resulting pollutants cause.

In May, we had two very successful joint field trips with the Taunton U3A Geology group − one to Helwell Bay, Watchet, and the other to Sand Point near Weston-Super-Mare (photo: Cherrie Temple).  We all learnt from the experiences of members of the other group.  We have since had a follow-up joint meeting to review the trips.  We would strongly recommend joint working with groups in neighbouring U3As.

We had no meeting in April because of Easter, but in May there were joint field trips with Taunton U3A geology group.  On 8 May it was to Helwell Bay in the rain, and on 17 May to Sand Point.

The group had an interesting meeting in March when Phillip gave us an illustrated talk on the volcanic landscape on Lanzarote.  This was followed with images of the mud volcanoes on Kilve beach.

We had a visiting speaker at our February meeting.  John Hall gave us a fascinating insight into how the early geologist William Smith used his work surveying for the building of canals in the Somerset coalfields and elsewhere to develop the first national geology map.  This linked nicely with our January talk about the life of William Smith and with a future talk on coal that we’re planning.

We had an excellent meeting in January hearing about the early geologist William Smith and his creation of the first national geology map, which is remarkably similar to the current one.  We also heard about the fossil, Clypeus Ploti, well known to William Smith as the Oxfordshire Pound Stone, and had a presentation about the ‘rock cycle’.  In addition, we started to plan our summer field trips.


Full list of groups      |      Calendar