Haywards Heath Show November 2009

19 November 2009


Haywards Heath Overview

Haywards Heath Show in full swing

Outside Haywards
Wet and windy outside - best to stay inside and look at minerals!

For those of us that battled through the horrific storms and heavy rain to travel to the Haywards Heath mineral show last weekend there was plenty to see. The Haywards Heath mineral show, organised by the Sussex Mineral and Lapidary Society (SMLS) has to be the UK's best show for mineral specimens and this year was no exception with all the UK's mineral dealers attending. Here's a link detailing their forthcoming shows/events:


Every year there is a show theme and this year it happened to be Zeolites - more on that later...

There are only rarely new mineral finds from the UK these days and this is a good show for seeing some of them.

The Lawson collecting team had some new finds as per normal including some very nice Amethyst clusters from the Castle Douglas area in Southern Scotland.

Amethyst - Scotland
New find of Amethyst - Scotland

Also some interesting black Tourmaline from Collooney, Sligo, Eire:

Irish tourmaline

Irish Tourmaline

There were some interesting ice-blue Fluorites with yellow cores from Gutterby Pit, Cleaton, Cumbria that were being premiered.

Blue Fluorite - Cumbria
Blue Fluorite - Cumbria

Some familar faces at the show including Brian Lloyd from Gregory, Bottley and Lloyd; Ralph Sutcliffe with some Baryte groups from Wetgrooves Mine, Yorkshire; Mike Merry who had a selection of minerals from the Alex Williams Collection; Nick Carruth et al. It was great to some some new dealers on the scene including Taranis Minerals who had a nice selection of reasonably priced minerals on offer.

Brian Lloyd
Brian Lloyd - characterful pose

Dave and Liz
Dave and Liz Hacker

Tinzenite - Taranis
Tinzenite - Courtesy of Taranis Minerals

Ian and Alan

Ian and Alan Hart of the NHM

As for our stand, we took a fine selection of English minerals and the two of the first we sold were some fine English Barytes recently repatriated from the USA.

Baryte - Cumbria

This classic, sharply crystallised and large cabinet Frizington Baryte specimen wasn't with us for long!


Joe in charge of the Crystal Classics Stand - note our range of books and magazines with our cabinets with green Riemvasmaak fluorites in the background (and, of course, Joe and Sam's rocks at knock down prices!)

The guest displays this year were supplied by The National Museum of Scotland who, unbelievably, were exhibiting some of their fine collection for the first time at a UK show. The minerals were a fine selection of the Heddle Collection which is of historical significance and forms an important part of the collection. Some of the Leadhills specimens on display were of superb quality.


Photo of the man himself - Matthew Forster Heddle

Heddle details

Galena - Leadhills

Galena with Calcite and Quartz - Leadhills, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Caledonite - Leadhills
Caledonite - Leadhills, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Leadhillite - from, yes, Leadhills, Lanarkshire, Scotland

As mentioned earlier the theme of the show this year was Zeolites and the associated competition was judged this year by Jolyon Ralph of Mindat. There were some great cases put together exhibiting a wide range of Zeolite species from both the UK and worldwide localities. This year's winning case belonged to Allan Mortimer who is one of the most well known collectors of Zeolites in the UK. A thoroughly deserved win as Allan and his wife Alvire have assembled a fantastic collection of Zeolites over their lifetime as evident from their superb case of worldwide Zeolites, including many purchases from ourselves over the years.


Jolyon introducing the fighters, sorry, I mean zeoliters, before performing a medley of apt Frank Sinatra classics: "It might have been in County Down...." and "Come Skye with Me"

Winning Zeolite case of Allan Mortimer
Allan Mortimer's winning case of Zeolites - great diversity, quality and colour

Allan Mortimer receiving Prize
Allan Mortimer - The undisputed Zeolite Champion of Great Britain

A great Powellite from the winning case

Another rare Zeolite - this time a Gmelenite from Northern Ireland

The other competing cases were of interest including a case of Northern Ireland Zeolites, and a case of self-collected Zeolites from The Isle of Skye. Congratulations to all involved including Mike Wood, Roy Starkey and Neil Hubbard (who both specialised in British Zeolite), Norman Moles and Susan Smith.

Skye Stilbite
Highly aesthetic Stilbite from the Isle of Skye

The show was very well attended despite the adverse weather conditions, and a special vote of thanks from all the dealers and visitors must go out to the SMLS committee who organise this event every year.

Author: e
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