Celestial Navigation and Time
For our “George Daniels Lecture” we are pleased to welcome William Bottaci from the Croydon Astronomical Society.
We use time to plan, and also not to miss events. It can also be used for another important purpose, navigation.
There is a natural rhythm to our time, from the rotation of our planet and its journey around the Sun, which not only causes events but indicates them. This natural indication, mostly seen as the path (placement) of the Sun across the sky, can actually be used in reverse, to indicate where on Earth it is being observed; basically, if we know the time we know the place.
For practical purposes we require a refinement, and the Sun can only be used at specific moments, sunrise, sunset, and when highest in the sky. It stands to reason that the more ‘suns’ there are the more opportunities, and this brings us to the Moon, and the stars. The refinement extends to know just where the stars are, and when – we need both items of information – because the better we know these the more accurate our location. It only remains to have knowledge of this process, and a means to implement it. Welcome to Celestial Navigation and Time.
William became interested in astronomy just before secondary education, and its associated subjects of photography, navigation and time. Whilst large and expensive equipment was financially and technically out of reach it seemed that celestial navigation is something that is both understandable and feasible, hence the adopted interest as something immediately accessible.
AGM followed by a talk from our own Alan White
This meeting will be a two stage event. Firstly there will be the AGM where you have the opportunity to find out the current state of branch affairs. There will be reports from the Chairman and Treasurer followed by any questions, and the election of the committee for the coming year.
Please remember to vote at the AGM you must be a member of both our Branch and the BHI at Upton Hall.
Now for our Star Turn!!
Alan White will be showing a video of how he made a fly cutter for wheel cutting and will be happy to answer questions about the process he followed.
20th Century domestic clocks of England and Wales
Today, there is a growing appreciation of twentieth century mechanical clocks many of which are superb examples of industrialised production and have complex mechanisms which have proven to be long-lived and reliable. Examples of such clocks are still commonplace and may be found for as little as a few pounds with little wrong with them.
In 2004, two amateur horologists, John Glanville and Bill Wolmuth, embarked on a project to research the history of industrialised manufacture of domestic mechanical clocks in England & Wales in the twentieth century and to form a representative collection of such clocks for the British Museum. The project took ten years to complete and culminated in more than 250 clocks being collected for the Museum, to form what is now known as ‘The Glanville & Wolmuth Collection’, and the recent publication of an illustrated reference book on the subject.
As the majority of these clocks are not marked with the manufacturer’s name or trademark, people have previously found identifying the maker and history of most of them problematic. Fortunately, in undertaking research to form the collection for the Museum, Glanville and Wolmuth have established how to identify and date almost all such clocks.
In his lecture to the Branch, Bill Wolmuth will outline the research undertaken and discuss the company history and clocks of the more significant manufacturers, including The British United Clock Company; Clarion; Davall; Enfield; FW Elliott; Garrard; Gillett & Johnston; JJ Elliott; Newbridge Clocks; Norland; Perivale; Smiths; Tame Side Clocks; and Williamson.
STUDENTS FROM WEST DEAN COLLEGE – PRESENTATIONS
Matthew Read MA ACR
For our May meeting we welcome Matthew Read and his students from West Dean College. This annual event gives the students a chance to try their hand at public speaking and us the opportunity to hear what is going on in horological education. Students will present on a project that makes up a major part of their coursework for qualification in restoration and conservation of antique clocks. The evening promises good variety and an opportunity for lively discussion.
Stephen “Why make tools on an FDA Clock making course?”
Eliott Pierre Leroy’s principles on accurate timekeeping following a description of “la Montre A”
Daniela Trialling microcontroller technology in dynamic heritage objects
Greg Swaged pivot holes in 18th century brass clock plates
Dale The role of culture on the development of clockmaking in Edo period Japan (1603 – 1867)
Matthew Packing for transportation – conservation materials and techniques
Please note the meeting is not at our normal venue but at
The Endeavour Scouting Hall across the road
Monthly branch meetings are normally held at the The White Hart Barn in Godstone
THE WHITE HART BARN
(Godstone Village Hall)
SURREY RH9 8DU
7.30 pm for 8.00 pm Start
The Beresford Hutchinson Memorial Lecture
Our speaker this month is Malcolm Archer FBHI who will be presenting on the conservation of the Pyke Organ Clock for Temple Newsam.
Restoration involved work on the clock movement, automaton dial and barrel organ mechanism together with the ebonised case.