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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkOur centre is available for visits on a pre-booked basis on Wednesdays between 10am - 4pm. The Club’s activities and displays are also usually open to the public on the first Saturday of the month 11am - 4pm.

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Essex Rock by Gerald Lucy

Book review in Essex Field Club Newsletter 30: 21

If you think that pebbles in your garden have always been there, think again; most have a wonderful and varied story to tell. The remarkable changes which have taken place here in Essex over the last 100 million years are uncovered in a new book called Essex Rock: A look beneath the Essex landscape published by the Essex Rock and Mineral Society.

The book has been written for the general reader, and it is the first book ever published on the geology of Essex. We hope that the mix of illustrations and photographs will make it popular with the public, something that geology guides often fail to achieve. We also anticipate that it will be very useful to teachers and the Society plans to get as many copies into Essex schools as possible.

The book vividly describes the geology of Essex from the deeply buried Palaeozoic rocks to the soft sands and clays of the Ice Age. Along the way are stories of famous Essex fossils and what they tell us about the evolution of our climate and landscape. The Chalk, the London Clay and the Red Crag are all described but the Ice Age has been given particular attention as very few members of the public will know that Essex was once covered by an ice sheet or that the Thames once flowed through Chelmsford.

There are even moments of drama when the county has been covered with clouds of volcanic ash and shaken by earthquakes. The book includes photographs of damage to buildings caused by the well known Colchester earthquake of 1884 which severely damaged over 1200 buildings in East Essex.

Unfortunately, the book is now out of print, but of course is still available for loan through any Essex library.