The British Sundial Society

Promoting the Art and Science of Gnomonics since 1989

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!

Registration

If you would like to attend please email conf2021@sundialsoc.org.uk. You will be sent an acknowledgement and, later, a formal Zoom invitation. The event is free and open to anyone.

Zoom

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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Another submission to the 2020 BSS Sundial Design And Restoration Awards, this time from our Patron Sir Mark Lennox-Boyd.

Name:
The Voss Obelisk
Type:
Pair of declining reclining slate dials with a third information slate
Year:
2019
Materials:
Burlington Slate dial plates with gold-plated bronze gnomons
Size:
Dial plates are approximately 40 cm square
Location:
Cornwall
Design and delineation:
Mark Lennox-Boyd
Dial Plate Cutting:
Ben Jones
Gnomon:
Fabrication by John Huddlestone.
Obelisk:
Portuguese Granite cut in Portugal and supplied by Lantoom Quarry, Cornwall
Hidden metalwork:
John Huddlestone
Reference:
Mark Lennox-Boyd and Ben Jones: ‘The Voss Obelisk, Time for Evermore’, BSS Bulletin 31(iv) 12-16 (December 2019).

BSS Sundial Design And Restoration Awards 2020

There’s still time to enter the competition, so for those who have been creating dials during lockdown now is the time to share! For more information, see details of the competition.

Frank King has submitted details of five dials to the 2020 BSS Sundial Design And Restoration Awards

These five very different dials were made over the last five years

Read on for more details of each of these dials.

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Submitted to the 2020 BSS Sundial Design And Restoration Awards by Louise Smail, trustee for the Old Parsonage Building and coordinator of the sundial project:

The Didsbury Parsonage (The Old Parsonage) is a Grade II listed building, next to what was the original village green of Didsbury. The building and gardens were left to the citizens of Manchester by Alderman Fletcher Moss in 1919. Through the Didsbury Parsonage Trust it provides a thriving community hub for the people of Didsbury and beyond, in a locally significant and picturesque setting.

The original stained glass sundial in the Library of the Old Parsonage was designed by the then owner, Alderman Fletcher Moss. This sundial went missing at some unknown time before the Second World War. Using archive evidence, including photographs, John Carmichael constructed full-size working drawings including a rendering of the intended replacement sundial on acrylic. He incorporated his own design of a demountable gnomon which is held in place by two magnets. Any accidental knock results in the gnomon falling harmlessly to the ground without damaging the glass. It can be replaced in a matter of seconds. Unlike the original which had white painted glass between the hour lines, the replacement has clear glass that was frosted (sandblasted) on one side. This creates the darkest optimum shadows. Fuller notes are provided separately.

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David Hawker has submitted the following entry to the 2020 BSS Sundial Design And Restoration Awards:

This sundial was made in early 2020 to celebrate a Ruby Wedding for April 2020. It is designed to be mounted on the south facing wall of a house in Sutton, Surrey. However, due to Covid 19 it is yet to be installed.

The dial is made from Welsh blue/black slate and is 380mm high x 254mm wide x 20mm thick (15” x 10” x 3/4”). Dial furniture includes names at the top of the dial, ‘40 Yrs’ carved at the bottom of the dial and a carved date curve for 5th April, the anniversary date. A carved daffodil indicates a spring time anniversary.

The gnomon uses a 5mm brass rod with a nodus made from an 8mm rod drilled and soldered to the gnomon. The gnomon rod is soldered to a brass supporting plate with a tang that is inserted through a slot cut into the slate. The back of the slate is recessed and two brass pins are set through the holes in the tang before being fixed and sealed with two pack epoxy. The dial will be supported by brass brackets.

The design, calculations, carving and metal work are all by the dial maker.

BSS Sundial Design And Restoration Awards 2020

There’s still time to enter the competition, so for those who have been creating dials during lockdown now is the time to share! For more information, see details of the competition.

Another recent entry to the 2020 BSS Sundial Design And Restoration Awards is David Brown’s restoration of a large, polyhedral dial which required extensive repairs and reconstruction, fully described in the submission.

David writes:

The Gloucestershire owner of this 650kg fine-grained sandstone sundial, missing all its gnomons and delineations, wanted it restored to working order. Large holes, where the original gnomons had been fixed with molten lead, had collected rainwater and insects over two hundred years and moss, algae and grime had darkened all the surfaces. After cleaning, drying and surface re-shaping was undertaken. Plain sundials were designed and cut for the 25 exposed faces over a period of several months during the Covid-19 outbreak.The completed sundial was transported back to Gloucester in September and set on a new sandstone cube standing on its original base stone.

Here are the details and more pictures.

BSS Sundial Design And Restoration Awards 2020

There’s still time to enter the competition, so for those who have been creating dials during lockdown now is the time to share! For more information, see details of the competition.