Bakewell 'Rock Exchange' October 10/11th 2009
13 October 2009
The Bakewell Mineral Show takes place at The Lady Manner's School in the small town of Bakewell situated in the beautiful Peak District in Derbyshire, England (an area famed for its 'Blue John' Fluorite and England's first National Park). The show has always been known as 'The Rock Exchange' as it used to be more of a 'swap-meet' ,and not always mineral for mineral - for example some French collectors were known to swap wine and cheese for specimens that caught their eye! This welcoming show of keen enthusiasts is akin to the show in held in Schlema, Germany we visited last weekend (see last week's show report). These traditional mineral shows have a great buzz about them - it's all about minerals and friendly banter!
A busy start to this year's show with collector Rob Bowell in the foreground (rhs)
As usual we adopted our usual Bakewell DIY table of mineral flats for customers to hunt through - but we did one better this year by actually having a display cabinet (gasp!). We brought mainly British minerals from the Ian Acworth Collection, Philadelphia Academy Collection, and from recent acquisitions. This year we had added help from Joe and Verity as they assisted us in the presentation and sales of some Spanish Fluorites and mineral related books and DVDs.
Ian is assisted by Verity and Joe at our stand
Ian with collector Paul Richards at our stand
Amongst some of the usual international material you see at most shows it is interesting here to come across British minerals on some of the stands. Many of these specimens have been out of the ground for many years and therefore a good chance to obtain some classic material. However, new finds are occasionally unearthed and this year's highlights included some good specimens of Smoky Quartz and Orthoclase from the Isle of Arran as displayed on Peter Briscoe's stand.
Peter Briscoe with some fine Smoky Quartz and Feldspar from Glen Rosa, Isle-of-Arran, Scotland.
Smoky (almost Morion) Quartz from a recent find on the Isle-of-Arran, Scotland - similar to the classic Cairngorm Smoky from the mainland.
As always Peter Ward had some interesting fresh material on display on his stand including some great examples of Fluorite epimorphs with Ankerite and Sphalerite from the northern end of The Boundary Cross Vein, Rampgill Mine, Nenthead, Cumbria. These came from a beautifully preserved pockets where the Ankerite graduated to a darker colour with depth. The Sphalerite crystals display an excellent gemmy red/brown translucency.
Fluorite epimorphs (to 3cm on edge) with Ankerite and Sphalerite - Boundary Cross Vein, Rampgill Mine, Nenthead, Cumbria, England
The 'hollow' underside of one of Peter Ward's Fluorite epimorph specimens with gemmy red/brown crystals of Sphalerite from the Boundary Cross Vein, Rampgill Mine, Nenthead.
Pete also had some aesthetic self-collected Barytocalcite specimens from Admiralty Flats, Nentsberry Haggs Mine, Alston Moor, Cumbria.
Here's Mike Rumsey (left) from The Natural History Museum with Peter Ward
each holding Pete's top specimens of the Fluorite epimorphs from Rampgill
infront of Pete's stand. NB the specimen Pete is holding displays the dark coloured
Ankerite from the deeper pocket.
An interesting footnote from Pete's stand was an incredibly rare specimen of Greenockite (from its Type Locality) from the collection of Dr. Charles Trenchmann. The British Museum bought this specimen from Dr. Trenchmann's nephew in the early 1900s - how it managed to escape from there is a mystery! However, it looks like this specimen may end up back in BMNH according to Mike Rumsey.
Greenockite - Bishopton, Renfrew, Scotland - forget hen's teeth!
Bakewell is always a cracking show to be a part of and one is helped along with a good amount of tea and cake. Most British dealers display at the show including Mike Brook of Broadstone Minerals, Mike Merry, Liz and Dave Hacker, Nick Carruth, Simon Hildred etc. but also private collectors and hobbyists. It is always important to do many rounds of the show as you always miss something hiding away in a corner or in a random box. The very nature of the show is actually like collecting in the field but without the wind, rain, mud and insects.
Liz and Dave Hacker looking relaxed at their well presented stand
Stephen Seymour Smith has just unearthed something which has attracted the attention of Ed and Diana Schlegel - is it a fine mineral specimen or a Bakewell Tart?
Always a pleasure to attend we'll be here again next year!
The Crystal Classics Team
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