Tagged: News

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!

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.

The world famous Trafalgar Memorial Sundial has recently been taken down from its prominent position high above Railway Street, Chatham, Kent.


The dial was designed by Chris Daniel, now the Society’s President. Frank King, on behalf of the trustees, has been in touch with Chris. The Society’s trustees have written to Medway Council seeking reassurance that the dial’s disappearance from public view is temporary.

Further information can be found at http://www.kentonline.co.uk/medway/news/sundial-taken-down-121957/

A group in Washington State in America, with an appropriately-named coordinator, has launched a sundial mural competition and would welcome entries from visitors to this site. They write:

We are a small group in Bellingham, WA. that have created an exciting mural competition for a very large two story wall in our historic downtown. We are reaching out to a multitude of international communities in pursuit of receiving submissions for a visually striking mural that also acts as a sundial. This multi purpose art project is not limited to people who specialize in the field of gnomonics, those without previous experience may bring some fresh ideas to the table to this ancient art form.

We understand that some people may want to submit a design and do not have the ability to create the final product. If that is the case, there is a monetary award for the winning design. However, if someone wishes to install their design we are accepting budget proposals to accompany the submission so that you have control over the final product.

Bellingham is a hidden jewel of Washington State filled with people who are forward thinking and enjoy the outdoors. Protected by the North Cascade mountains and bumped right up to the bay, our views are speckled with island’s, volcanic mountains, numerous lakes, thick mossy forests, and are surrounded by small farms. Our city thrives on small businesses which fill our brick buildings thanks to our community which encourages handmade and locally sourced goods. Bellingham is very unique, and we hope for the designs to reflect this vibe.

For all the information regarding this competition as well as submission forms, visit our web page here:


Thanks for your time and the best of luck,
Sky Rockenbach
The NW Sun Works

The regular one-day BSS meeting will be held as usual wat Sutton Hall, Stockcross, Newbury RG20 8LN on Saturday 26th. September from 10:00 until 4:00. There will be exhibits of dials and related material, talks and a bookstall.

Full details are available here. Thanks as ever to David Pawley for organising the event.

No need to book, just turn up on the day. Guests are welcome, as are long-standing members and first-time visitors. Do come along to this highly popular event, and have a most enjoyable and relaxing day out.