Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Fossilizing on Overstrand Beach, Norfolk

Ragged Rambling is all about actively engaging with history - including the tides of geological time. Ragged Society of Antiquarian Ramblers members were therefore most grateful to go searching for fossils with Mr. Peregrinus, a lifelong fossilizer. On this occasion, he walked with us along Overstrand beach on a cold February Sunday, and was able to impart much fascinating knowledge to Maximillion and myself.

As we set out along the beach, the wash of the waves against the shore provided a constant backdrop. Swirling in the wind, we could hear the occasional call of a seagull, and stretching out into the misty distance the cliffs receded from view...

Mr. Peregrinus explained to us how the chalk and flint was formed over sixty million years ago. The vastness of geological time is astonishing to think on. As I walked along, scanning for fossils as I went, I stretched my imagination... one day will be exactly sixty million years from this cold (old) day - a curious thought, which made me smile (although I know not why).

As you can see (above), guided by the experienced 'eye' (that is, an eye informed by a brain) of Mr. Peregrinus, we collected an antler horn; ancient river/sea bed; an echinoid; a fragment of bone - and much more besides...

It was a fascinating experience and our thanks go to Mr. Peregrinus for sharing his time and knowledge with us. Equally, we are appreciative of his generosity in offering us poor ill-prepared Antiquarians a cup of warm sweet tea -  a most restorative brew in these chill conditions.



~ Munro Tweedy-Harris ~


  1. Haieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezuh!

  2. I'm terribly sorry Mandy, I don't understand Italian. Could you please be silent in English?

  3. Dear The Screech,

    That is one of your finest screeches thus far. You are to be congratulated!

  4. Dear Willy Nilly,

    I have no time for Wapping hacks here, so I say to you - a turd in they teeth Sir!

  5. Dear Dersingham Vicky,

    In response to your enquiry: I have consulted Monty and he says to say - and I quote - "the answer my friend is blowing in the wind". I trust that this clarifies matters for you.

  6. Dear Der stille des Mandy,

    I do speak a little German, so I am able to appreciate the meaning of this silence. Thank you for not commenting here.

  7. Dear Η σιωπή της Mandy,

    I'm afraid I am unversed in Greek and therefore am unable to appreciate your silenzio.

  8. Sir, that is the finest rendition of Huzzah! I've heard in many a year. Can Mandy equal that?!

  9. Do my ears deceive me? Have I found the earliest known recording of The Silence of Mandy? Can anyone confirm?
    The Mandy Audio Link

  10. Thadeus what a find! I believe it to be a digital recording taken from a nineteenth century wax cylinder original of Mandy. The cylinder is now lost, but there are some that say it is hidden in a secret place, an Island known only as 'Place 29'.

    +Many Coats+

  11. That's a good post Esotericus, but can I just say as someone who has done a lot of shovelling in wellies, that I dispute your claim via audio that wellies are too cold for winter fossiling. The trick is to only wear loose socks under them and not be tempted to put on a second pair. That would only restrict your bloodflow thus making your feet feel colder still. Far better to leave lots of space for air trapped in your wellies to warm up and also to facilitate the wiggling of toes for extra warmth.

    I hope you don't mind my suggestions, because as an amature Ragged Rambler myself, I need all the advice I can get.

  12. Bartholomew WIlburton-Hyphen22 February 2011 at 17:11

    My dear Many Coats,
    The plot doth thicken, sir!
    Could we put two and two together and come up with an outlandish and possibly controversial assumption that Mandy and the Cont. Sec. are one and the same?
    It would seem so, that in, much evidence is a gathering!

  13. Dear Elias the Shovel,

    First of all, it is with excessive English politeness that I would draw your attention to the fact that this particular post was authored by myself, Munro Tweedy-Harris Esq., not by Esotericus. I in no way mean this to be a criticism of you Elias the Shovel, and I hope you will forgive me to for my impertinance in pointing this out to you. For the love of Mike, please forgive me... please!

    ... with regard to your argument viz the wellies: that is an interesting, and, may I say, persuasive line of reasoning. However, being of a sturdy pie-fed frame myself I was unable to fit the Hunters wellies I had borrowed over my gargantuan calves. I will, however, pass your observations onto Maximillion - a Ragged Rambler with a more slight and Dandyish turn of calve.


  14. Dear Mr Tweedy-Harris

    It is I who should apologise to you for mistaking you with Esotericus, but may I also suggest some really big wellies to take account of your 'cankles' - that is the a rather large mid calve ankle section that blends calve and ankle together in one large mass.

    In other words the leg equivalent of flabbers.

  15. Dear Mr Wilburton Hython

    It is an interesting theory, but one that doesn't hold water. Firstly the Contributions Sec has from time out of mind been a man and indeed the Ragged Ramblers as I understand it did not even acknowledge the existence of women before 1896. Prior to that they fully accepted Pariah Greengrass's theory that woman were no more than myth, a medieval construction probably brought on by hallucinations caused by eating mouldy damp grain. In other words, Ergot poisoning caused by the fungus Claviceps purpurea.

    Mandy as far as we can tell is a woman and more importantly is known to have absolutely no sense of humour. It has however been compulsory for the Contributions Secs. to have a sense of humour since the Ragged Convocation of Ramblais in 1437, after a terrible incident involving the a samien ware bowl, the defacement of a today in history diary and feathers left in a locker.

    Do not ask me to explain this further, because like all Ragged Ramblers I am sworn to secrecy on this matter.

    I trust this answer will suffice.

    +Many Coats+

  16. Ohhhhhhhh.......
    I have so very much enjoyed perusing this blog and its links! It's good to see you fellows are still doing what you do best.
    I was especially drawn to this post as my twin grandsons were recently in a phase of thinking all rocks are fossils, all fossils are dinosaurs, and all dinosaurs are T-Rex. Roar.
    Take care!

  17. Hi Daisy,

    Thanks for your kind words, and for taking the time to peruse the environs of this blog. We are heartened by your grandsons enthusiasm. Perhaps they are Ragged Ramblers of the future!

    Munro Tweeder-Harris

  18. Bumper Cockton-Smythe28 February 2011 at 00:18

    Isn't it marvellous how these chaps can get some of the finest actors in the land to take part (Winter Beach Fossil.. audio advice above) and do those voice-over thingys? Why that's that big East End boy, whazisname Winton or something, always plays the good hearted thug-type.
    Worth a fortune these days, Hollywood an' all you know. Pity about the welly boot experience, all a question of sock experimentation, I'd say, gotta be wool, gotta be a good wool job, none of this high street rubbish.
    As to all the rest, sacks & screwdrivers and what have you, I'd say the trick is to just make sure you bring a good reliable batman, what? Hand pick 'em, man, it's the only way.

  19. I agree With Cockton-Smythe. Bring a batman, but be sure to keep him on a long piece of rope lest the bugger see his chance of freedom and run away. I shan't be letting that happen again.