Isle of Wight 2019
67th Symposium of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy and the 28th meeting of the Symposium of Palaeontological Preparation and Conservation
10th - 13th September 2019

First Circular

The 67th Symposium on Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy

Dinosaur Isle Museum

10th – 14th September 2019

First Circular

Welcome to ‘the Island’ or Isle of Wight as you may know it. Situated of the south coast of England, the Island is a fossil rich sequence of Early Cretaceous to Early Oligocene sediments, which includes the richest dinosaur localities in Europe and the richest Paleogene vertebrate sites in the UK. We are working with our partner institutions, the Universities of Portsmouth and Southampton to bring together what will hopefully be a memorable meeting. Dinosaur Isle Museum is very pleased to be hosting the 67th SVPCA and 28th SPPC and hope to see you in September 2019.



The main meeting will be held in the port town of Cowes (sometimes referred to as West Cowes, and not to be confused with East Cowes), the Cowes Yacht Haven will be the venue for most of the talks ( Cowes has direct transport links to Southampton. Cowes is a very cosmopolitan town, and is a world famous yachting centre and party capital of the Island with numerous pubs and restaurants. Many of the shops sell high performance outdoor clothing though there are a wide range of shops. A short chain ferry ride and walk is Queen Victoria’s seaside home Osborne House, in East Cowes and is well worth a visit should you decide to stay a little longer.
Dinosaur Isle Museum ( is home to over 30,000 specimens including many type specimens, notably of the dinosaurs Neovenator and Eotyrannus. Currently managed by the Isle of Wight Council, it is a fully accredited museum. The museum has a proactive acquisitions policy through fieldwork so there are always new specimens being added to the collection. Located in Sandown, about 45 minutes’ drive from Cowes, the museum is small but with plenty of ambition. 2019 should be an important year for the museum as it moves away from solely local authority control and should be working with a new commercial partner to develop the site.

Registration & Abstracts


Will be announced in the second circular in February/March 2019, but will follow similar procedure as previous meetings.

Provisional scheduleof events


Date     Venue Notes
10th September AM Workshop/ Field trip to lab Dinosaur Isle  
  PM Pre-conference field trip Cretaceous section. Yaverland to Culver Cliff tbc Leader Gary Blackwell and whoever else volunteers. Numbers might be limited to 30 max
  Evening Ice breaker   Collectors?
11th September AM Preparators meeting Cowes Yacht Haven  
  PM SVPCA Cowes Yacht Haven or Dinosaur Isle  
  Evening Public (Fox0 Lecture Cowes Yacht Haven  
12th September AM SVPCA Cowes Yacht Haven  
  PM SVPCA Cowes Yacht Haven  
  Evening Auction? Cowes Yacht Haven Collectors displays?
13th September AM SVPCA Cowes Yacht Haven  
  PM SVPCA Cowes Yacht Haven  
  Evening Annual Dinner Cowes Yacht Haven  
14th September   Post conference field trip   Cenozoic

Special events


We are working with many local collectors to bring together a special exhibition, probably at the main venue of local collectors finds; we will update you on this in future circulars. We will also include a public lecture, as part of our Fox Lectures series. The old favourite auction is also planned.

SPPC and Workshop


In 2019 this will be spread over two days, with a practical workshop session on the 10th September held at Dinosaur Isle Museum and Yaverland beach, with talks on the 11th September at the main venue in Cowes. The practical session on the 10th will also act as a workshop for other delegates who don’t mind a more hands-on approach to palaeontology, and will focus on the field recovery of vertebrate fossils.


We are currently planning on running two fieldtrips, one on the 10th September which will run part in parallel with the workshop session. This trip will explore the Cretaceous sequence at Yaverland to Culver Cliff. This section will follow the sequence from the terrestrial Wessex Formation to the Late Cretaceous Chalk.
The second fieldtrip is provisionally on the 14th September and will either be a visit to the Late Eocene or to the west coast to look in more detail at the Wessex Formation, but tides will be challenging.


Ferry travel to the Island is via Portsmouth (to Ryde), Southampton (to Cowes or East Cowes) or through Lymington (to Yarmouth). There are regular rail services direct from London Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour, for connection to Ryde and on to Sandown. Regular trains go from London Waterloo, via Southampton Central, for ferry connections to Cowes. Alternatively, there is a route by rail with a change at Brockenhurst to Lymington then on to Yarmouth. Southampton has direct rail links throughout the country without crossing London. Southampton has a small airport with flights to European and UK airports, then rail connections to the Island via Southampton Central.
If you wish to travel by car, Red Funnel operate a car ferry via Southampton to East Cowes, Wightlink via Portsmouth to Fishbourne (near Ryde) and from Lymington to Yarmouth. If you plan to travel by car, early bookings are recommended as the companies operate a demand led pricing structure. Travelling by car will significantly increase your accommodation options.
The Island has an excellent local bus service operated by Southern Vectis; there are regular buses between Ryde, Cowes, Newport, Ventnor, Sandown and Shanklin, it gets patchier beyond the main towns. So if you were staying in Newport you can get to Cowes or Sandown with relative ease.


There is a small number of hotels and B&B’s in Cowes, more in Newport, and plenty of cheaper hotels and B&B’s in Sandown and Shanklin. Being a holiday destination you might wish to consider sharing a self-catering house.


[email protected]

Martin Munt 01983 404344, [email protected]
Host Committee
This year’s SVPCA host committee comprises
Martin Munt (DI), Dave Martill (UoP), Neil Gostling (UoS), Jeremy Lockwood (DI), Steve Sweetman (UoP), Megan Jacobs (UoP)
SPPC hosts Martin Munt and Gary Blackwell (DI), with support from Cindy Howells, Richard Forest and Nigel Larkin
SVPCA Steering Committee

Isle of Wight 2019

Previous Circulars:

First Circular
Second Circular