Our visit to Bakewell Show for another year is sadly over; but what an eventful couple of days it has been.
We arrived on the Friday night and after getting e-Rocks organised we headed off for the first meal out of the weekend.
The Friday night "Curry Club" is becoming a bit of an institution and opener for the show. Great meal loads of gossip - always good to share stories about Whippets and Bottle Collecting with Mike Merry!
As we didn't get to the show before the meal it was also handy to find out if anything had turned up so far.
We arrived at the show at about 0830 and we had 2 things to follow up.
It was a year ago that Nick Carruth announced that he was giving up selling at UK shows, but he said at the time he would be back at Bakewell this year.
As ever true to his word, he was there with an impressive array of minerals from the Cedric Rogers collection. Cedric had been an active collector primarily in the 1970s-80s and sadly recently died. Nick had been invited by the family to disperse the collection from its storage in a collapsed and waterlogged shed.
There was a large amount of interesting locality and older material from UK and worldwide sources.
It was really good to speak to Nick again and look things over.
Our second follow up was Mick Croft and some things he was bringing along. Mick was set up alongside David Walker Barker.(seen above).
After many years in the gym it was odd to see David set up in the foyer. David always has a wonderful array of selected Weardale fluorite and other things. This time he also had some impressive specimens from Boltsburn on consigment from Clinton Burhouse.
Like Mike Merry and myself, David from Elsecar in Yorkshire, is a very active bottle collector and is big contributor to the Facebook bottle groups.
During the first hours of the show we made several tours and found lots to see and so many people to catch up with. Undoubtedly one of the biggest features of the show was the Greenlaws fluorite. Now that the project has been going for 1 year plus, specimens were available on several dealer tables.
Not all from the current dig, however newly branded (and tee-shirted) Greenlaws Mining Project area was offering several flats of "run of the mine" material and by mid morning quite a crowd was gathered digging through the box pile.
We didn't get back to speak to Peter Ward until later, but when we did was very impressed with one of the latest finds from the previous weekend.
Included in the slideshow below are some other shots of Greenlaws from the project.
At around mid morning a group of specimens appeared on Andy Castleton's table - these had unfamiliar labels, and I found out had been brought to the show by Malcolm Southwood. Malcolm had brought these all the way from Australia from the collection of David Cowan.
David was quite an avid e-Rocks user and quite a few familiar labels were present. What a connected world!
As the morning turned into lunchtime, we headed off our traditional pub lunch. Unlikely as it would seem this was first started by Lloyd Llewellyn about 6 years ago; we try to keep this up and shared a good lunch with Andy Castleton, Jo, Mal and Ange Southwood, but missed Lloyd this year.
After lunch and back at the show there was another "close encounter with a new find". Recently collected at Hamstead Farm Quarry were some specimens of "schalenblende".
This locality has produced some exellent mineralisation over the past 25 years or so, this recently collected block of banded sulphide mineralisation has come from the floor of the bottom level of the quarry. Particularly uncommon (so far) are the larger lustrous black sphalerite crystals to the surface.
A real treat to see something like this turn up.
Elsewhere in the show there were not many new finds but Mike Merry was displaying some recently collected wolframite blades from Cligga, and the Lawson's/Stephen Moreton had some very yellow cadmium smithsonite from Sheshodonnell, Ireland.
Something else unusual from Sheshodonnell we spotted were a group of older collected specimens of blue/mauve fluorite with Mark Coleridge.
Apart from that the show was a fantastic resource for a whole plethora of minerals from UK and worldwide locations; I always find it incredible to see how many old and closed localities are so well represented so long after closure - except maybe Cornwall.
By around 17:00 the show was winding down for the day so we headed back for the evening Rugby.
Saturday night supper at the Castle Inn with Mike Brooke has also become another tradition, and of course we discussed e-Rocks a lot; finishing off the day by bumping into people from the show in the bar.
Day 2 at the show began with the usual B&B Full English and drive up the hill through slight mist to the show.
The second day is usually much quieter and used for leisurely strolling about picking up rocks etc, etc.
This year was no exception though the show was really busy for a change.....apparently attendance was up overall on 2014.
Although it is a "regional" show it is always good to see visitors from further afield. Chris Mavris, who is currently working at the Natural History Museum, travels a lot to smaller shows maintains these are still the best sources for material over the larger central shows.
Well that is it for another Bakewell year - thanks to the PLMS for making it happen one more time.
Bakewell is a very special time in the UK collecting calendar - long may it continue!
(please also see the slide show below)
Also check out Colleen Thomson's show report