Oxfordshire's geological society since 1957
The Oxford Geology Group is a dynamic, growing and very active local geological society that has been in constant operation since 1957.
The Group exists for all geologists, Earth and planetary scientists, whether professional or amateur. It is a way for enthusiasts of all ages to meet with people of similar interests through a programme of lectures and field meetings in Oxford and further afield.
The Oxford Geology Group is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) - a registered charity in England & Wales.
Our charity number is 1175367. READ MORE ABOUT HOW OGG IS GOVERNED >
How it all began
In 1956 Mr J.M.Edmonds, a lecturer in the Department of Geology and Curator of the geological collections in the Museum of Natural History, circulated a letter to gauge potential interest in ‘an informal Geology Group in Oxford for anyone interested in but not necessarily knowledgeable about the subject’. This resulted in the founding of the Oxford Geology Group at a meeting on 24th January 1957 in the Department of Geology and Mineralogy. At this first gathering 67 members were present including Oxford academics, business men dealing with stone and aggregates, and ordinary people interested in learning about geology. Mr H.C.H.Crawley, the City Water Engineer was invited to act as Chairman. Mr Edmonds then gave a talk on the geology of Oxford, after which the meeting discussed various matters of business. The subscription was set at a mere 5 shillings (25p) for the year so as not to discourage prospective members from joining, and it remains at a comparably low level.
From the start the programme of activities has comprised both lectures and field excursions. The outings not only provide the ‘hands on’ experience necessary for a full understanding of geology but are pleasant social occasions as well. Some of the earliest quarry visits are recorded in films. They picture the gents strolling about in three piece tweed suits and trilby hats while the long-skirted ladies carry both a hammer and a handbag.
Nowadays, although health and safety requirements impose a less relaxed attitude and make access to quarries more difficult, we still enjoy the fresh air and mud as we look at the rocks and learn.
The Oxford Geology Group is an dynamic and flourishing society with over 300 enthusiastic members, with an age range from 14 to 90 years. Our membership includes every type of geologist from recreational fossil and mineral hunters to academic and professional geologists. We have a programme which includes two monthly series of lectures (except in August), monthly field meetings, residential field meetings, occasional expeditions abroad, and a series of workshops to help develop skills and knowledge. In partnership with other organisations we help to maintain sites of geological importance. Six georambles every year give OGG members and the wider public opportunity to visit sites around the county on foot to admire the geology, geomorphology and landscape.
Oxford Geology Group's archives have been curated and stored safely at the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library.
We have documents from the very earliest days of the society. We are also fortunate to have celluloid records of our first field meetings.
Some of the film footage, shot by H.C.H Crawley, includes images of our first president, L.R. Wager and the celebrated Oxford palaeoontlogist, Stuart McKerrow.
Our archives were curated by Dr Sue McClaughry, who liaised with our friends at the Bodleian Library to secure a permanent, safe home for this important slice of social history.
The Oxford Geology Group logo has evolved over the years.
Since the get-go it has always featured the crossed hammers, often embellished with an ammonite.
The logo that has been in use for the past decade was designed by Paul-Austin Sargent. It is roundal in form and features the crossed hammers.
The crossed hammers demonstrate our interest in geology, the ox bull's head and stylised water suggest the place name of Oxford.
The tincture, or colour palate was considered and selected very carefully. Oxford blue (a dark azure) features heavily in the design and this is embellished with gold. The decal clearly signifies Oxford Geology Group, both in the clear, white type face and the iconography.
The Latin motto, Ex Saxis Scientia (knowledge from stones) was devised by Vice President, Professor Michael Winterbottom.