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Haywards Heath Show 2009

Last Updated: 16th Nov 2009

By Jolyon Ralph

Once again, it's time for my local show, the Haywards Heath show, probably the best UK mineral show. It's run every year by the Sussex Mineral and Lapidary Society, which I have been a member of for many years.

The Main Hall

Despite the warnings about severe weather the journey to the show was uneventful and I arrived shortly after the opening time of 10am. The weather warnings (which included a news item the night before on national news about severe flooding at an industrial estate in Haywards Heath - just down the road but very localised due to blocked drains) probably put a few people off coming, but all the dealers made it, including dealers from France and the exhibitors from the National Museums of Scotland.

The first dealer I stopped at was Crystal Classics, they always bring a display cabinet filled with highly desirable minerals. Note in the photo below a large number of excellent South African fluorites - I've shown these in other show reports so won't detail them here, but Crystal Classics had an excellent selection.

Crystal Classics display cabinets

One specimen of theirs that I loved was this minature cuprite from Wheal Phoenix in Cornwall

Cuprite from Wheal Phoenix, Cornwall

Staying with a Cornish theme, Mike Merry always offers a large selection of classic Devon and Cornwall minerals. He had two nice specimens of Cornish malachite, both from Wheal Buller. The first has been cut and polished, showing the characteristic dark tone of Buller malachite, and the second has been left naturally.

Malachite from Wheal Buller, Cornwall

More malachite from Wheal Buller, Cornwall

Peter Briscoe had some samples of magnesite, from the Boulby Mine in North Yorkshire, as pale blue crystals with hilgardite, easily mistaken for boracite which is well-known from this location.

Magnesite from the Boulby Mine

More new British minerals were on offer from Ralph Sutcliffe, who had some excellent baryte crystal groups from the Wet Grooves mine in North Yorkshire.

Baryte from the Wet Grooves mine

It was great to see a brand new UK mineral dealer exhibiting at this show, Taranis Minerals, run by Nic and her partner Phil who have both been active mineral collectors for many years.

Taranis Minerals

One specimen they had that caught my eye was this sample of chalcopyrite on tennantite from Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

Chalcopyrite on tennantite

Finally, from the dealers, one specimen that I couldn't resist, so it's now in my personal collection - quartz (var. amethyst) from Karur, Tamil Nadu in India, from Midland Minerals.

Amethyst from Tamil Nadu, India

Mineral shows are not just about buying minerals, it's about meeting people, so here are some photos of people well-known to mindat regulars who I saw at the show.

Steve Rust, UK collector, mindat manager and recently honoured with the mineral name steverustite

Mike Rumsey, another mindat manager and curator of mineralogy at the Natural History Museum in London

Nick Carruth, Cornish mineral dealer

One of the invited displays at the show was from the National Museum of Scotland, who travelled down from Edinburgh to display a showcase of classic scottish minerals collected by famed mineralogist Heddle in the 19th century.

Peter Davidson from NMS talking to a visitor about the museum

This time I wasn't just a regular visitor to the show, I was an invited guest, my purpose there was to judge the show competition, the theme of which was 'Zeolites and associated minerals', and six collectors who were known to have particular interest in zeolites
were invited to present a cabinet of minerals, and I was to judge them.

Here are the six cabinets and some of the highlights from each display. Note that I didn't know the names of the entrants until after I had chosen the winner.

Cabinet 1 was presented by Allan Mortimer.

Allan Mortimer's display

Remember the theme includes 'and associated minerals', so please don't leave messages saying 'but Cavansite isn't a zeolite!' or similar. Some minerals from Allan's display:

Heulandite from Tura, Tunguska region, Russia

Mordenite(?) pseudmorphs after anhydrite. Irai, Brazil

Edingtonite from More Quarry, Shropshire

Cabinet 2 was presented by Roy Starkey

Roy Starkey's display

Roy's display featured self-collected British zeolite specimens. Roy had already started packing up his display by the time I got to take photos (I had planned to do photography after the glass had been removed at the end of the show. Roy got there a few minutes before me! Some minerals from Roy's display:

Scolecite from An Gearna, Isle of Mull, Scotland

Heulandite from Earlston Reservoir, Scotland

Cabinet 3 was presented by Mike Wood

Mike Wood's display

Mike's display was unique in that it contained mineral specimens he had collected from a single locality Sgurr nam Boc, a beach below tall tertiary basalt cliffs on the west coast of the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Some minerals from Mike's display:

Mesolite and Stilbite



Cabinet 4 was presented by Neil Hubbard

Neil Hubbard's display

Again, a collection of zeolites that Neil has collected from around the UK. Some minerals from Neil's display:

Datolite from Parc Bean Cove, Cornwall

Laumontite from Beinn na sreine, Isle of Mull

Cabinet 5 was presented by Susan Smith

Susan Smith's display

Susan presented a cabinet dedicated to minerals from the Deccan traps in India, probably the most famous zeolite locality in the world. Some minerals from Susan's display:

Prehnite coating calcite from Virar, India

Thomsonite from Soyagon, India

Cabinet 6 was presented by Dr Norman Moles

Dr Norman Moles' display

Norman's display contained self-collected zeolites from Northern Ireland, mostly collected in the 1970s - many of the quarries represented are now dead localities - filled in and built over. Some minerals from Norman's display:

Gmelinite-Na from Little Deer Park Quarries, Co. Antrim

Natrolite from Magheramorne Quarry, Co. Antrim

Unfortunately in this competition there could only be one winner. It was difficult trying to judge the merits of cases of worldwide minerals versus a case of minerals from a single locality, and I could have easily made a justification for any one of the cases winning - but when it came back to the original topic of the competition, to present a display of "zeolite and associated minerals", one cabinet did that in a way that showed the variety of zeolite minerals worldwide, not just within basalt cavities, but from other geological environments too. It also contained the greatest number of distinct zeolite species, and the decider in my mind was the fabulous (and I found out, later, self-collected) Shropshire edingtonite crystals.

So, I decided on case 1 - Allan Mortimer, as the winner of the competition.

Allan with his trophy

Congratulations to everyone who entered for putting on a fantastic display, and to the SMLS, and in particular Mark Oddy, for putting on a superb show.

Article has been viewed at least 23769 times.

Discuss this Article

16th Nov 2009 13:55 GMTAntónio Manuel Ináçio Martins

OlΓ‘ :-)
Very interesting the idea to showing the collections of zeolites and today I did learn a new zeolite with Mordenite (?) pseudmorphs after anhydrite. Anger, Brazil.
Jolyon thank you for you try to share those moments.

Martins da Pedra

17th Nov 2009 22:43 GMTDebbie Woolf Manager

My journey to the show was much more arduous than Jolyon's, took 2hrs in 80mph gusts of wind & lashing rain with leaves & branches blocking on the roads ! We didn't arrive until 2pm, the car park was packed as was the show at that time. I found there was a lot of British minerals available, I did like the Fluorite from Riemvasmaak (biased), the display from the National Musuems Scotland was very nice as was the display of minerals from South East England, did you get a picture Jolyon ? For me the winning case stood out from the rest because of the colours. I really enjoyed the show & nearly all the dealers had great displays of minerals. Well done SMLS & thanks to Jolyon for the report!

Debbie :0)
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