Cecil Wright Mason and the Hull Geological Society

Published: Wednesday 12th July 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Cecil Wright Mason was a Hull-born engineer and hydrogeologist. Today, we’re discovering more about his life and achievements.

Mason worked for the Yorkshire Water Authority, but in his free time he would pursue his passion with the Hull Geological Society. He was the Excursions Secretary of the group and would also organise the photographic recordings of specimens across East Yorkshire.

Hull Museums were gifted hundreds of these images in 1962. The interesting snaps are all stored on slides. Each sample focuses on the natural history of the region, with interesting pictures of mammoth teeth, tusks and bones.

The same year, another curation from T.B. Parks was gifted to the city. This was a fantastic collection containing around fifty pieces.

Parks had worked with Mason to excavate and record Cretaceous invertebrates from the Kelsey Hill and Brandesburton gravels. The two men were close friends, colleagues and members of the Society.

Nevertheless, not all the items gathered by Mason highlighted the beauty of the natural world. Other intriguing items include a series of photographs of iconic Lincolnshire buildings taken by Mason himself.

Mason died n the mid-1960s. Subsequently, his widow, Mrs L. Mason, donated an additional set of documents, artefacts and images.

Unbelievably, Mason had collected over 100 objects, reflecting the fascinating local geology and natural history of the area.

Most interesting amongst there are the seaweed samples, which are kept in small glass tubes. You can also see his intricate archive of fine glass lantern slides, showing wonderful shots of the teams during excursions and field trips.

Thanks to his hard work and careful precision, Mason’s collections are some of the best-preserved items in Hull today.

Incredibly, the Hull Geological Society is still going after all these years:

“We were founded in 1888 and are now registered as an educational charity,” Secretary, Mike Horne, tells us. “We focus on the geology of the Yorkshire Coast, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.”

The society actively carries out research, holding regular events and seminars: “In the summer we have field meetings, and during the colder months we hold a series of lectures at the University of Hull,” he continues.

“Most of these are open to the public. Some field meetings are not suitable for the public due to safety and accessibility issues. But our members can get involved in projects and come along to informal Club Nights.”

Hull Geological Society also strives to conserve the natural word, giving advice on the conservation of Regionally Important Geological Sites in the area.

“New members are always welcome. The Annual subscription fee starts from £3,” Mike adds.

You can see Cecil Mason’s collection at the Hull and East Riding Museum, which is open Monday to Friday 10am-5pm and Sundays 11am-4:30pm.

For more information about the Hull Geological Society, please visit their website. They also have their own journal, Humberside Geologist.

Enjoy more Hull and East Yorkshire news on HEY Today

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Published: Wednesday 12th July 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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