James (Jim) Riding was born in Sheffield in the Yorkshire Pennines on 6 October 1957, growing up in the Penistone neighbourhood. He attended primary school in Denby Dale (famous for its giant meat pie baked for special occasions and events) and from there went to Penistone Grammar School where he studied A Level Geology. From early on Jim was a keen amateur geologist and, whilst in the sixth form, he attended a WEA evening class on geology, as well as participating in many local geological expeditions. It was during these expeditions around Langsett (famous for the Upper Carboniferous Langsettian stratotype)...

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