Field meeting at West Runton and Overstrand March 1962

Fifteen members and friends (including four members of the Paramoudra Club) assembled at West Runton Station. The object of the meeting was to examine fossiliferous Upper Pleistocene beds in coastal sections. In excellent weather the party descended to the shore at West Runton Gap. The Chalk platform was seen on the shore, with remnants of Weybourne Crag Stone Bed, containing typical shells, including Mya arenaria in the position of growth. Above this much of the section is covered by a shingle beach but the main object of the meeting, the Upper Freshwater Bed (type section of the Cromerian Interglacial) was well exposed at the base of the cliff. Members were able to see typical fossils - Viviparus, Ancylastrum, Valvata and Unio - but the shells were mostly too fragile to extract without breaking.

The party walked along the foreshore to East Runton Gap, noting excellent sections in the North Sea Drift as they went. The Boulder Clay and sands in these cliffs contain broken shell fragments - mainly Macoma balthica, Mya, Cardium edule and Mytilus. They then proceeded by car and bus, through the red brick Victorian town of Cromer, to descend to the beach again at Overstrand. Here, loose shelly Weybourne Crag was seen, resting on top of one of the massive Chalk erratics which are seen in the Boulder Clay of this part of the coast. Weighing thousands of tons, these huge masses have been moved, complete with their Crag cover, during one of the Ice Ages. The Chalk in these Bluffs is very fossiliferous and attracted the attention of some members who took away a good selection of belemnites, sponges, brachiopods, etc.. Indeed so attractive did this section prove that a last minute sprint was necessary to get back to the bus stop.

Only a few species of recent shells were noticed on this part of the coast. A few 'cuttle fish bones' (Sepia officinalis L), a valve of Mytilus edulis L and many dead Petricola pholadiformis Lmk still in their chalk crypts were seen. The only living species were Littorina soxatilis (Olivi) and L. littorea (L)

Mr. F, Cambridge