Reading Technical Visit

Geological Field Visit to Coley and Emmer Green, Reading

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Led by Dr Clive Edmonds


Normal geological field trip clothing (allow for wet/dry weather) and sensible field walking shoes. For the mine visit battery packs and lights will be supplied by the mine management team. Don’t forget camera.


Coach departs Imperial College 08:30

Morning – 10:00 start – coach party arrival

The visit will begin with a description of the local geology and the opportunity to view the site of a former brickworks, now blended into the residential character of the local area. Next we walk around a series of residential streets in the Coley area where it is possible to glimpse the subtle landscape evidence where historical quarrying and brickmaking activities have taken place. With reference to photos and maps the past industrial history of the area will be revealed. Particular reference will be made to the ground collapses of 2000 and 2001 which badly damaged local housing which has now been restored. The man-made nature of the existing hillside will be explained and salient features pointed out. Finally, we will walk along to view a local conservation area where the artistry of the 1800s brickmaking can be appreciated with reference to spectacular brick patterned houses and other specially made pottery ornamentations, some with dated plaques.

Lunch – Packed lunch provided

Afternoon – 13:45 – coach party pick-up to transfer from Coley to Emmer Green

After arrival at the Emmer Green chalk mine entrance, the party will have the mine entry procedure explained and the necessary safety measures induction by the mine management team. The mine entry shaft is about 20 m deep, brick lined in the upper portion and chalk lined in the lower portion with a fixed metal ladder on one side. Visitors are winched down into the mine with attached safety line and have to climb back out via the ladder again with an attached safety line. Expect to be walking around the mine and viewing various historical features (includes WW2 bunker artefacts) for about 1.5 hours or so.

Finish – expect to be back on the surface ready to depart by coach to London about 17:00. Arrive back at Imperial College around 19:00.

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