History of BSRG

The founding meeting of the BSRG was organised by Percival (Perce) Allen and held in Reading on 16th-17th November 1962, to celebrate the opening of that university’s new Sedimentology Research Laboratory. A key component of this first meeting was the presentation of “research work in progress” by research students and staff from several British Universities, the Institute of Geological Sciences (now the British Geological Survey), the National Coal Board and major oil and quarry companies. The lively and informal discussion generated by these presentations provided the impetus for similar meetings on an annual basis, and so the BSRG AGM was born.

The ethos of BSRG is perhaps best encapsulated by Perce Allen’s vision in 1962 for future annual meetings. They would need to be run by a simple organisation that “depended for life on its own enthusiasm”. The new organisation should be independent from other geological bodies “to avoid ossification (and to be free to die if enthusiasm waned)”. “Emphasis should be on the younger worker and on informality”. From its inception, BSRG has been organised with a light touch. However, as our organisation grew, an affiliation to the Geological Society of London was set up in 1973 under the stewardship of Harold Reading. In addition, BSRG is closely linked to the International Association of Sedimentologists (IAS), for which Perce Allen and Harold Reading are also key figures in its development, and to other sedimentary geology societies.

BSRG grew steadily through the 1960s and early 1970s, and expanded dramatically during the late 1970s and 1980s in response to the increasing influence of sedimentology in exploring for and developing hydrocarbon resources in the North Sea. However, the interests of BSRG members have always been broad, in line with our original ethos. This diversity is well represented in the keynote reviews presented at the 21st BSRG AGM (1982), held in Liverpool, and later published as Geological Society of London Special Publication 18 edited by Pat Brenchley and Brian Williams.

Our organisation has flourished during the 1990s and 2000s, and the BSRG AGM regularly attracts participants from outside the UK, as well as many university researchers and a scattering of industry sedimentologists working within the UK. Research groups from Norway, Ireland and Germany have been particularly strongly represented. BSRG members still work on a wide range of pure and applied sedimentological research, much of which is increasingly multidisciplinary in scope. We also still aim to foster the development of young sedimentologists, and the BSRG AGM is the venue at which many PhD students present their research results for the first time.

Acknowledgements
This summary borrows liberally from the sources listed below, and from the memories and archives of John Collinson, John Graham, Gilbert Kelling, Nick McCave, Clive Nicholas, Tim Palmer, Brian Rosen and Maurice Tucker – many thanks for your help!

BSRG Chairs
2017-2019 Joris Eggenhuisen (Utrecht University)
2014-2016 Chris Jackson (Imperial College, London)
2011-2013 Dave Hodgson (University of Liverpool)
2007-2010 Jon Noad (Shell)
2004-2006 Sarah Davies (University of Leicester)
2000-2003 John Howell
1997-1999 Duncan Pirrie (Camborne School of Mines)
1994-1996 Jan Alexander (University of East Anglia)
?1991-1993 David Macdonald (Aberdeen)

Venues of the BSRG AGM
1. 1962 – University of Reading
2. 1963 – University of Newcastle
3. 1964 – University of Sheffield
4. 1966 (Jan) – Imperial College, London
5. 1966 (Dec) – University College, Swansea
6. 1967 – Queen’s University, Belfast
7. 1968 – University of Leicester
8. 1969 – University of Bristol
9. 1970 – University of Dundee
10. 1971 – University of Keele
11. 1972 – University of Oxford
12. 1973 – University of Aberystwyth
13. 1974 – University of Cambridge
14. 1975 – University of Durham
15. 1976 – University of East Anglia
16. 1977 – University of Reading
17. 1978 – University of Leeds
18. 1979 – University College, Swansea
19. 1980 – University of Strathclyde
20. 1981 – University of Bristol
21. 1982 – University of Liverpool
22. 1983 – University of Birmingham
23. 1984 – University of St. Andrews
24. 1985 – University College, Cardiff
25. 1986 – University of Nottingham
26. 1987 – University of Aberdeen
27. 1988 – British Antarctic Survey & University of Cambridge
28. 1989 – University of Leeds
29. 1990 – University of Reading
30. 1991 – Heriot-Watt University & University of Edinburgh
31. 1992 – University of Southampton
32. 1993 – University of Manchester
33. 1994 – University of Aberdeen
34. 1995 – University of Durham
35. 1996 – Trinity College Dublin
36. 1997 – University of Liverpool
37. 1998 – Imperial College, London
38. 1999 – University of Edinburgh
39. 2000 – University of Loughborough
40. 2001 – University of Plymouth
41. 2002 – University of East Anglia
42. 2003 – University of Leeds
43. 2004 – Manchester Metropolitan University & University of Manchester
44. 2005 – University of Durham
45. 2006 – University of Aberdeen
46. 2007 – University of Birmingham
47. 2008 – University of Liverpool
48. 2009 – Bangor University
49. 2010 – National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
50. 2011 – Imperial College, London
51. 2012 – University College Dublin
52. 2013 - University of Hull
53. 2014 - British Geological Survey (Nottingham)
54. 2015 - University of Keele
55. 2016 - University of Cambridge