Club History

The Club was formed towards the end of 1942. The suggestion came from Mr Fred Wade and the late Mr J J McKinney.

Mr6822548993_6bf8c0948f_s J W Lawson, Librarian, convened a meeting of those interested for 18th November 1942 under the Chairmanship of Councillor Vernon Richards, at which it was decided to form a Naturalists’ Field Club.

Officials elected were:

President: Dr Morrison
Secretary: Mr W Richards
Treasurer: Mr J H Atkinson
together with a Committee of eight.

Mr W Ellerington of the Consett Naturalists’ Club had been invited to give advice regarding the rules and administration. He was also asked to give the first public lecture “The Dispersal of Seeds”.

As the Club was formed during the last war when travel was severely restricted, its activities had to be organised on a local basis. Winter lectures were given by Club members e.g. Dr Morrison, Mr F Wade, Mr Rigg, Mr Davision, BSc and Mr McKinney. These were supplemented by speakers from the Consett Club e.g. Mr Ellerington, Mr T Hutton, Mr J J Robson, Mr W Dixon, Mr David Scott and Mr Guy.

Summer outings were to such places as Tanfield, Pontop Hall, Dipton Woods, Greencroft Hall, Lanchester, Beamish, Hamsterley Hall and places in the Derwent Valley. The first long journey was on 25th May 1947 when the Club visited Ingleton. They set off at 7 am in the morning.

Since 1942 members must have taken part in about 300 outings. Frequent visits have been made to Northumberland and the Border Country, the Tyne, Wear and Tees Valleys and the Yorkshire Dales, also coastal walks in both Northumberland and North Yorkshire. The Lake District has also been visited on several occasions.

The success of outings has depended on leaders who volunteer to pioneer the routes, and prepare information relative to any interesting features. About a dozen members regularly undertake this task.

Presidents
1943 – 1952 Dr Morrison
1953 – 1961 Mr Vernon Richards
1961 – 1962 Mr J Hall
1962 – 1963 Mr W B Toyn
1963 – 1964 Mr A Daley
1964 – 1965 Miss A Renwick
1965 – 1966 Mr H Carr
1966 – 1967 Mr E Wardle
1967 – 1968 Miss D Robinson
1968 – 1969 Mr E Livesey
1969 – 1970 Mr H O Matthews
1970 – 1971 Mr T T Ayer
1971 – 1972 Mr A Reay
1972 – 1973 Mr Calland
1973 – 1974 Miss A Turnbull
1974 – 1975 Mr W Clayton
1975 – 1976 Mr R Purvis
1976 – 1977 Miss B Russell
1977 – 1978 Miss D Sanderson

Secretaries
1943 – 1944 Mr V Richards
1944 – 1967 Mr F Wade
1967 – 1975 Mr S Philipson
1975 Miss E L Taylor

Treasurers
1943 – 1967 Mr J H Atkinson
1967 – 1974 Mr E Wardle
1974 – 1975 Mr D Hudspith
1976 Mr G Donaldson

Outings Organiser
1943 – 1945 Mr J W Lawson
1945 – 1946 Mr J Bailes
1946 – 1950 Mr J Finney
1950 – 1969 Mr A Reay
1969 Mr T Ayer

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