The highlights of each year are without doubt our annual residential conferences, held each spring, though we also hold a smaller informal one day meeting in Newbury each September. Our residential conferences continue to be remarkably successful events

This page contains details of previous and forthcoming events. In 2014 we have started to add videos of some of the Conference talks: these are also available from this page.

We are again meeting at Sutton Hall, Stockcross, Newbury RG20 8LN (directions below).

Exhibits – Talks – Bookstall

Beautiful country village setting. Plenty of free parking. Modernised village hall with ample space, tables and chairs for all your interesting displays (indoors and outside) of sundials, models, photos etc. Please include a card with your name on any displays.

Please bring something along:

  • Dials: finished, or in progress
  • Pictures
  • Paraphernalia

Speakers welcome – 10-minute talks / demos. Please e-mail David Pawley with suggestions for talks, ideally before mid-September 2019 if possible.

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A number of people have requested to see the chat discussion from the recent virtual conference: it is now available as a PDF or text file.

The full responses to the SurveyMonkey survey are also available, apart from Q10 which contains contact details for the people who entered the draw for a free annual subscription to the BSS. Thanks to all those who left feedback and who entered the draw: the winner, drawn at random, was Martins Gills. We will be in touch with him to confirm the details.

We successfully held our first Virtual Conference via Zoom on the 17th April and were joined by about 150 participants from around the globe. Feedback about the event has been extremely positive and all the speakers – Roger Bailey, Woody Sullivan and Fred Sawyer, with the event introduced by Frank King – were very highly rated for their fascinating talks.

The full video of the session, lasting a little over 90 minutes, is available here:

Although the vast majority of participants were able to enjoy the session, unfortunately a small number of people did not receive the joining instructions. We hope that the video above makes up for that and we have taken those issues, as well as the large number of comments and suggestions, fully on board. We will provide information about how we plan to proceed in due course but there is clearly an appetite for more events like this!

BSS Zoom Event

In lieu of our 2021 Conference we plan to host three talks via Zoom on 17 April 2021. They will start at 17:00 BST and expect the entire event to last about 90 minutes. This time of day should suit those living in any time zone from the west coast of North America to the Middle East.

The speakers will be Fred Sawyer (President of NASS), Roger Bailey (sundial designer and former Secretary of NASS) and Woody Sullivan (Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington and instigator of the first sundial on Mars), all of whom are well known to those who attend our Conferences. We shall provide titles for the talks in the new year. Meantime, Fred has promised that there will be no equations in his talk!


If you would like to attend please email You will be sent an acknowledgement and, later, a formal Zoom invitation. The event is free and open to anyone.


Many people have become very familiar with Zoom over the last few months but if you have managed to avoid it so far and would like some help, please read on for guidance on both its use and how to install it, kindly provided by BSS member Mike Faraday, as well as an offer of 1:1 assistance from Frank King.

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If you are new to Zoom you will need to download either the Zoom APP for your phone/ipad/touchpad or Zoom plugin for your computer’s browser.

Here are the instructions on how to do that. The screenshots show setup on a PC using Internet Explorer but the steps for other platforms and browsers are similar.

Install Zoom from Note: If you open this link from an iPhone or Android device the App store will open with Zoom for you to download and install.

Select Run in Internet Explorer:

If a User Account Control message pops up, select Yes:

Follow any additional on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

First way to connect to a meeting

Now you have installed Zoom you only have to click on the URL in the email you have been sent. It will look like this :
Join Zoom Meeting

Second way to connect to the talk

Open Zoom by clicking on the Zoom Icon on your screen or in the menu
This screen will appear

Just click on Join a meeting (do not try to sign in) this will take you to a screen to enter the meeting number and the password which are in the email.

Once connected

You will be on the waiting room page where you will need to wait whilst the host checks that you are booked in for this talk.

Once the host has allowed you into the meeting please ensure your microphone is muted. The icon looks like this in the bottom left hand of the screen.

Sorry, whilst you might see your friends on the screen total confusion will occur if we all try to talk at the same time. If you want to ask a question or speak to us please press the “hand raise” button by pressing the “participants button” at the bottom of the screen and then on the bottom right or type in the chat box. We will endeavour to answer asap. These questions will be sent to the speaker to answer at the end.

When asked Join with Audio and Video its up to you whether you want to do this. You will still be able to hear and see the talk if don’t join with either.

That’s it, you’ve done it, settle down and listen to the talk – we hope you enjoy it.


We regret that due to Covid-19 the April 2020 conference in York cannot be held. The Society’s next conference will be held between 16-18 April 2021 in Exeter. Further information on the Exeter conference will be posted later in the year.