December 7, 2017

Celestial Navigation and Time

William Bottaci

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.

 

October 5 meeting

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.

 

 

September 7 meeting

Edmund Howard (1710-98) A Quaker Clockmaker in Chelsea

Dr James Nye

By sheer chance, James was alerted in the summer of 2016 to the existence of a manuscript autobiography, compiled in 1785, which has been widely used by historians but apparently escaped notice by horologists. It was written in the 1780s by a struggling Chelsea clockmaker, Edmund Howard—a maker virtually unrecorded in the horological literature, who nevertheless left us a remarkably detailed and rich account of his life. A Quaker, yet with few good words for his fellow Friends, Howard lived a long and fascinating life through the bulk of the eighteenth century. James has researched further contextual detail of Howard’s life, and attempted to recover details of his known clocks. He will present the fruits of that research for the first time, in anticipation of publication in Antiquarian Horology in the coming months.

Dr James Nye is Chairman of the AHS, and the founding sponsor of The Clockworks museum in West Norwood. He has had a lifelong interest in electrical horology, and has been Secretary of the AHS Electrical Horology Group for twenty years. He is a member of the Court of the Clockmakers’ Company, and is chairman of its Collections Committee. His book, A Long Time in Making (OUP: 2014) charts the history of Smiths Group.

 

 

 

 

August 3, 2017

20th Century domestic clocks of England and Wales

Bill Wolmuth

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.

Peter test

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”

Ben               TBA

Fjodor          TBA

Jonathan     TBA

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)

GODSTONE

SURREY RH9 8DU

7.30 pm for 8.00 pm Start

September 3 Meeting

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.