Thursday, 8 July 2010

200 Years of West Country Sea Dragons - 22-24 July

Thursday 22nd - Saturday 24th July 2010, Street, Somerset
200 Years of West Country Sea Dragons: Thomas Hawkins and his fossil legacy
A public lecture, scientific seminar and field trip to be based at the Strode Theatre, Street, on the Somerset Levels. These events will offer a fresh look at Thomas Hawkins, one of the earliest and most successful collectors of marine reptiles from the classic early 19th century localities around Street in Somerset and Lyme Regis on the Dorset coast.
A public lecture, entitled “The Start of Dino Mania: the work of fossil monster hunters Mary Anning of Lyme Regis and Thomas Hawkins of Street” will start events on Thursday 22nd July. Delivered by the world-renowned Historian of Science, Professor Hugh Torrens (Keele University), the lecture will look at the life of Thomas Hawkins of Street and his better known contemporary Mary Anning of Lyme Regis. There will be a small admission charge, but is free to those attending the full seminar the following day.
The main seminar will take place on Friday 23rd July, and will be an expert look at topics ranging from Thomas Hawkins' personal life, the fossils he collected both then and now, and his metaphorical heirs the modern fossil hunters and museum curators. It is anticipated new vertebrate finds, together with posters by the sponsors, and workers and institutions in the south-west of England will be on display. We hope to arrange a visit the Alfred Gillett Collection of local fossil reptiles by kind courtesy of the archives of the Alfred Gillett Trust and/or a guided
walk to some of the remaining local quarry sites (both subject to confirmation).
The seminar will be followed on Saturday 24th July by a field excursion, to see some of the more distant historical quarry sites, the local scenery, and its relation to geological structure; it is anticipated a visit to at least one modern working quarry will be arranged. The field trip is subject to weather conditions, and should these prove unsuitable for the planned visit, an alternative outing will be arranged.
The seminar is open to all, but booking is essential. The conference fee of £35 (reduced to £23 for full-time students and the unwaged) includes tea and coffee, a light lunch on Friday, and free entry to the Thursday evening lecture. There is a small additional charge of £7.50 for the Saturday field trip, for which you will need to provide lunch. The cost of attending the Thursday evening lecture only is £6.50 (£3.50 for full concessions), and can be booked directly with the Strode Theatre by telephoning the Theatre Box Office on (01458) 44 28 46. Please send enquiries to the organisers at email or write to: Dr Leslie No√® (Hawkins Street Seminar), 51, High Street, Oakington, Cambridge CB24 3AG, including your name and address.

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