July 29, 2002
Busy time and much to report and comment on. Saturday saw Kerith and I drive up to Northumberland to visit two great gardens, Belsay and Wallington. The former is an old sandstone quarry filled with rare plants and trees and wonderfully done with architechture mixing with gardening; Wallington was nothing if not stupendous, finest walled garden, dating from the 1770's, I have ever seen, just a riot of color in bloom.
Sunday and Saturday was picture perfect weather, nothing if not perhaps a bit too warm. We drove up and 9:30 a.m. and picked Byron and Jonina up and made the 2 hour plus drive to Witby to see the old abbey ruins on the headland above the city. If you have not done it, I recommend it highly. We then drove up the Yorkshire coast to a small village and had -- what else -- Witby cod fish and chips. Afterwards, we continued the drive north along the coast a ways to a site - Kettle Ness - a point with a cliff about 300' above the beach with a nice steep and a tad slippy path down. Kerith said no way though Byron was certainly game to go down so we opted to drive on to Runswick Bay. Probably the prettiest small bay and coastal English village I have seen. It was a 25% grade down to the beach and the pay-and-display lot which was full. Dropped off Kerith and Jonina and Byron and I went back into town and found a parking spot then walked the 1/2 mile down to the beach. We had not discussed where we would meet and, of course, the girls went right and we went left. Byron and I quickly found bits of ammonite etc. and I found a nice Dactylicoceras commoni in a shale nodule. I quit early after my good luck and left Byron to continue looking for ammonites and belemnites while I hiked back up to the car and finlly found a spot in the pay-and-display lot. We all met up about 5:00 p.m. and drove back to the Mine House.
On a different note, we have about run out of rail but Byron and Dave went up to the middle adit of the Greenlaws and talked to the farmer who is most likely willing to sell us what is in the mine. It is about 500' of 30# rail, which is fine, he has to discuss it with his brother then we have to settle on a price. Alistair's rail is free but far too heavy for use in the mine.
I am sure there is stuff I am forgetting but it has been a busy last couple of days and today was spent mostly sorting material and up at the mine working in the West Cross Cut #2 for me; washing the small bits for Kerith; packing up specimens for Sarah and Andrew and washing the east face for Byron and preparing the as yet unmaned cross cut opposite the West Cross Cut #2 for blasting by Dave.