THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Belfast Naturalists’ Field Club hold excursion to Cave Hill quarry

From the News Letter, May 7, 1912

Friday, 7th May 2021, 6:00 am
An old postcard showing Cave Hill, Belfast, Co Antrim. Picture: The Library of Congress

A large party of members of the Belfast Naturalists’ Field Club had met at the Waterworks on May 4, 1912 for the first geological excursion of the new season, reported the News Letter.

The members then set out to walk up the Cave Hill Road to the large chalk quarry which was to be found on the southern slopes of the Cave Hill.

Mr Robert Bell had kindly agreed to act as the field trip “conductor” for the excursion and the News Letter reported that the members had been much appreciative of his geological knowledge and his keen eye.

When they reached the quarry Mr Bell had drawn the members’ attention to the selection of Rhaetic clays and glauconitic sands which contained a number of fossils which had been found that day.

Mr Bell had also taken the time to show the members of the club “a very fine specimen” of phacolite which he had discovered at Killyflew near Ballymena, the paper noted that it had been “the first record of this beautiful variety of chabazite from County Antrim”.

The News Letter’s report on the field trip remarked: “Not only was the record of fossils considered satisfactory, but the great interest of the district generally was recognised.”

The report concluded: “Remembering that geology is the ‘earth’s history’ and does not alone consist in careful records of fossils and minerals, it was felt that it would be difficult to find another area of such limited extent in which so large a part of this great history could be studied.”