The British Sundial Society

Promoting the Art and Science of Gnomonics since 1989

Arrangements are already well in hand for our next Conference.

The 2016 Conference will be organised and administered by a team comprising Doug Bateman, Mike Shaw, Bill Visick, Chris and Liz Williams.

Please mark and reserve 15 -17 April 2016 firmly and prominently in your diaries! The conference will follow the traditional Friday afternoon to Sunday luncheon format.

Liverpool, and its environs, is a location not yet visited by the Society’s Conference. The venue has been booked: Jurys Inn in the redeveloped docks area. There is much to see and do beyond dialling; members may well wish to consider extending their stay. Some initial information about the location is available here and will be expanded over time.

Booking forms, and a call for papers and exhibits, will be issued early in September – with the Newsletter and Bulletin and on the website.

2016 Conference Team

The 2016 BSS Conference will be held in Liverpool from Friday 15th. to Sunday 17th. April. More details will be provided over the forthcoming months but, to whet your appetites, some initial information is provided here.

Accommodation will be at Jurys Inn in the Albert Dock area:

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I would not normally present a dial without a better photograph, but this one is interesting and seems ripe for research and restoration. Thanks to Mariette Voke for the original report in 1990, and to Ian Butson for more recent detailed recording.

The stone dial plate, with hollow moulded edges, is mounted on the south wall of the nave of this ‘redundant church’. It has two concentric square chapter rings, with upright but aligned Roman numerals. The outer ring has VI – XII – IV – VI, divided to half and quarter hours, while the inner ring is offset by just over four hours, with II – IV – XII – I. The latter scale seems to indicate the time at another location, possibly Bermuda or the more southerly West Indies, but the connection with this church is unknown. Across the centre are seven declination curves, with zodiac symbols between the two chapter rings, and a horizon line labelled accordingly above. Vertical lines cross the declination curves, probably azimuth lines, but these are not labelled. The iron gnomon carries a bar or peg nodus. There would appear to be an inscription, possibly ‘NOBIS …’ across the declination lines above the equinoctial line. There has once been an inscription across the top of the whole dial plate, but it is now indecipherable. The furniture is not totally eroded, and gentle cleaning, or even a photograph in grazing sunlight, might be fruitful.

East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham, NG7 2RJ

Residential attendees should please aim to arrive on Friday afternoon in time for tea at 4 to 5pm. Day attendees are very welcome to take tea even if not dining. After dinner we have no formal sessions, but hope all will join in an informal social get-together in the Orchard Hotel’s bar/lounge area.

Note that you may wish to arrive much earlier and to visit the BSS Library on Friday. You may park your car there even if rooms are not yet ready.

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This is an excellent modern dial, made by John McCrindle of Bakewell in 1990, and dedicated to the memory of Roy Bubb, a prominent local councillor.  It stands in the town centre and, apart from its shadow-shy finish, is everything that a good sundial should be.  It is readable and accurate; it shows the Equation of Time and the Greenwich time offset of 7.5 minutes, to allow clock time to be determined, as well as the latitude and longitude of Bakewell and a compass rose.  On the side of the thick gnomon is engraved the direction of Polaris, the Pole Star.   The Latin mottoes “Hora Transit, Reditura Nunquam” and “Spectate Omnium Hora, Omnia Pulchra”,  may be translated as “The hour passes, never to return” and “Look ever at all things of beauty” (or please correct me – I am no Latin scholar!).  The dial stands on a fine plinth, and is signed by the maker, in minute letters along the foot of the gnomon.