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Bakewell Show 2018

Here I am back in the office on a wet and dull Monday morning after the 2018 Bakewell Show. Having spent a “full on” weekend in the bosom of the UK mineral collecting scene I am feeling a little bit tired.

As usual George and I drove up to Bakewell from TV Towers on Friday afternoon to ensure we were there fresh and early for the Saturday start, plus indulge in the local (Chinese) cuisine the evening before!

Favourite Views of Bakewell


We are arrived at the show bright and early on Saturday morning and quickly got involved with seeing people we have not seen for a while; a number of the stalls at Bakewell are run by collectors who set up only at Bakewell so a once a year opportunity.

Main Hall - Bakewell 2018


Quite a lot has been happening and some interesting stories, collection material and specimens were to be encountered over the time at the show. 

George and I set about exploring the rooms and catching up with folk. One of the first encounters we made was with US dealer Dan Weinrich. Quite a long way from home Dan was visiting the UK on the way to Munich and was helping Neil Hubbard out with his Midland Minerals table. I knew that Neil (and Nick Carruth) have in the past helped Dan at Tucson, but this is the first time we have seen Dan here!

Whilst on the subject of visitors it was also great to meet with Pu Tzu, another visitor blown in from the USA, also on the way to Munich but here primarily to visit with the Greenlaws Mining team.

Fluorite - Recently Mined at Greenlaws


News from Greenlaws is that they believe they have recently broken through into to the Main Flats in the mine, where they intend to carry out full exploration, logging and mapping before beginning an operation to bring specimens to the surface. Word is that there are some magnificent sights to be seen, and quite an achievement after what is said to be 9 years digging.

Also speaking to Peter Ward I was interested to hear about his trip earlier this year to collect in Iran. I was a bit surprised not to see a sea of red wulfenite etc on the Greenlaws display. Peter explained that unfortunately all the material collected is currently held in Iran because of the recent export embargo.

On the subject of recent mining there was much talk and specimens at the show from the new operations by UK Mining Ventures Ltd. There are two mines now working in the Rogerley Quarry, Rogerley and the newly named Diana Marie Mine both for the production of the much sought after emerald green fluorite. Diana Marie has already produced some “world class” specimens.

Newly Mined Diana Marie Fluorite


On the other end of side of what was new at the show there were a few interesting collections and collection material floating about. This year Mike Merry of Cornwall and Devon minerals was offering a collection of mostly Weardale material from the collection of Maurice Wall, the former manager at Stotsfieldburn Mine at Rookhope.

There were a range of specimens going back to a time when the mines in the area were working, including a selection from Stotsfieldburn. Stotsfieldburn closed in 1966 and is currently not accessible so specimens are seldom seen. It was good to see this little suite that also included calcite and galena, along with a range of different colours of fluorite collected back in the day.

Maurice Wall Collection
Mixed specimens from Weardale A photo of the collection display


Another snippet of good news from the show is the rebirth of Harlequin Minerals, operated by Dave Whipp. Dave left his own full time mineral dealing some time ago to work for Crystal Classics. Earlier this year he decided to return to his own business, and it was great to see him continuing where he had left off. 

Dave Whipp - Harlequin Minerals


It is great to see a new stand set up, as there have been a few dealers who have stopped/retired in recent years. Notable absences this year were Broadstone Minerals and Rex Cooke and Barbara Sutcliffe. We really missed Mike Brooke’s company at our evening dinner on Saturday night.

Through the somewhat unequal ratio of new to old in the churn of dealers there is a consistent body of dealers offering a huge variety of minerals (fossils, gemstones etc) for the crowds attending.

Andy Castleton - and some of the thousands of minerals he offers


George and I were deliberately trying to find things (from the UK) that we did not already have in our store rooms. We were not disappointed and we were able find quite a few more obscure items and bring them home.

During our trip back we were discussing the show, and one thing we felt apparent was the lack of out and out classics. Usually each year we see something that stands out as being exceptional, maybe we missed things like the Hope’s Nose gold or Oppu Mine rhodochrosite we have seen in previous outings.

Another observation was the availability of Tsumeb specimens, again in years past we have seen a number of different minerals going around, this year only a few pieces of the more commonly found material.

I am sure both observations relate to the fact we were not able to see everything on offer and that usually the very good things don’t hang around for second lookers!

The new finds section this year concerns some arsenate mineralisation discovered on specimens from Murton Mine in Cumbria. A few people were displaying these with small yellowish mimetite either as crusts over galena or poorly crystallised amid fluorite and quartz. This discovery is still being investigated.

Richard Tayler is always great to catch up with, last year he had made the Minrec news with his discovery of talc and dolomite at the Lizard in Cornwall. This year he had been back! 

Another item of interest with him was a small selection of grey-white botroidal smithsonite from Kozan, Adana Province in Turkey. Richard has a contact who collected these on a recent field trip to the active zinc mine. As Richard confessed sadly these are not blue or pink, but interesting enough to see at Bakewell.

New Finds
Mimetite _ Murton Mine, Cumbria, UK Smithsonite - Kozan, Turkey


The final attraction for us at the show was the new book by Roy Starkey, Minerals of the English Midlands. Roy had a table offering copies of his newly published book, created with a huge amount of research and peer contributions to document the diversity of minerals found in an area not as well understood as say the North, or West of England. 

Roy Starkey With Minerals of the English Midlands


It is a very thick book filled with information, pictures and maps, and well worth the purchase price. Please let me know if you want to contact Roy for a copy.   

 All in all it was another great Bakewell Show, well attended and “buzzing” on a very warm and windy Saturday, and again with tipping rain on Sunday. I am sure there is plenty more I could have said but hopefully this gives a sense of our experience of this year’s event. Congratulations again to the Peak District Mineral and Lapidary Association for the great organisation.

Bakewell Tart - or one version of this In the Peaks - The beginning of long drive


Our next stop on the show circuit will be Munich in 10 days time, then Haywards Heath in 17 November. 


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