Retired Members Surrey

Programme for 2011

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The programme for earlier years can be found here: 2010.

December 7th Leather Manufacture at Gomshall #
Colin worked for the Gomshall Tannery for nigh on 30 years until its closure in 1988. Starting as a Senior Laboratory Technician, he was promoted to Foreman of the dyeing department in 1968 and taking further responsibilities in supervising the tanyard processes, pre-dry and drying operations throughout the remaining years.
Colin guided us through the tanning process from importing partially processed skins from New Zealand through to the final results which were truly amazing, judging from the fine samples he had brought.
Colin Woolmington
November 2nd Around the Universe in 45 minutes
Following a brief mind-boggling introduction to the size of the Universe, we start our journey with the Sun, and travel outwards across the Solar System, pausing briefly at each of the planets. We then travel into the depths of interstellar space, describing some of the exotic objects, and finally end with how our Universe will end - possibly with a whimper rather than a BANG. Glorious images!
Bill Turnill
October 5th Channel Islands Concrete - From WW2 to Today #
This talk described the construction of the fortifications built in the Channel Islands during the Second World War. The islands were some of the most heavily fortified areas of the Atlantic Wall which stretched from Norway to France. The concrete used and the methods of construction were shown in detail together with examples of well constructed fortifications, and those that were not so well constructed.
The talk also included examples of more modern concrete construction from Germany, the Channel Islands, and elsewhere, and is relevant everywhere that reinforced concrete is used.
C B Shaw
September 7th Of Ships, Seas and Scientists #
The history of Oceanographic Science at Wormley. Sir Anthony joined the National Institute of Oceanography in 1955, following a PhD in marine geophysics at Cambridge, and was Director of the Institute of Oceanographic Science (the successor of NIO) between 1978-88. He has obtained numerous awards and was awarded knighthood for services to oceanography in 1987.
He spoke about his time working with Oceanographic science projects, starting with using Fourier analysis of waves to identify the [storm] source of waves, including identifying one near New Zealand! He then spoke of using scaffolding poles (Swallow floats) sunk in the oceans to plot deep sea currents at various depths. He described the use and evolution of Side Scan Sonar to profile the ocean bottom. The equipment designed and made by the IOS was used by the USA to map their new 200 mile economic zone.
Sir Anthony Laughton PhD FRS
August 3rd Lighting - From the oil lamp to the light-emitting diode #
People have always wanted to lengthen the day and electric lighting is one of the most significant technical achievements of the last two centuries. For thousands of years oil lamps and candles gave light indoors, but were of little use outside. The principle of the arc lamp was demonstrated early in the nineteenth century, but only became a practical source of light later. Filament lamps, gas discharge lamps and fluorescent lamps followed, and are now being overtaken by semiconductor LED lights. The speaker traced the development of artificial lighting using contemporary quotations and a number of demonstrations.
Dr Brian Bowers
July 6th The Mary Rose - a Tudor Time Capsule
Mike described the Mary Rose and the fascinating artefacts recovered from it.
The Mary Rose is now preserved in a custom-made building at Portsmouth Dockyard. If there is sufficient interest a visit to the Mary Rose when it is re-opened will be organised later in the session.
Mike Hill
June 1st AGM followed by Magic and The Magic Circle
David, who is a Member of The Inner Magic Circle and also the Secretary, gave an excellent talk entitled 'My Experiences in Magic'. He talked about The Magic Circle and magic generally, and in particular Tommy Cooper, whom he knew very well. His presentation of course included magic.
David Ball
May 4th Environmental Impacts of Mobile Radio and other Radio Communication Transmitters #
Radio transmitters of many types are in common use in broadcast services, voice and data communications and radar. This talk considered the potential unwanted interactions between radio transmitters and electronic systems in cars and hospitals; facilities such as petrochemical plants, quarries and offshore installations, workers and the general public.
Tony Maddocks, RMS Member
April 6th How the CT Scanner was born #
Don worked with Godfrey Hounsfield from the 1950s. He told us how the idea for the CT Scanner was born, how the DHSS got involved, and Godfrey's early struggle. He outlined how the scanner works and charted the explosive market which followed the first trials and publicity. The story of EMI's resulting profit followed, then the legal and competitive challenges, the subsequent financial blackhole, EMI's final abdication and Godfrey's Nobel Prize.
Don Tyzack, RMS Member
March 2nd Criminal Justice and the Witness Service
The witness Service is part of the Charity Victim Support, which was set up to provide information and support to Victims and witnesses attending Crown Courts. The talk will focus on the Criminal Justice System and how Witness Services fits within it.
Mike Hall, Senior Manager, Witness Service Surrey
February 2nd The Power & the Glory of Waterwheels
Jeff introduced us to waterwheels of many types, with the history of their development in Europe. He discussed the efficiency (or otherwise) of different types, and showed us many pictures of ones he has seen.
Dr Jeff Hawksley, Member SPAB Mills Section
January 5th The 13 Amp plug #
Why do we have a fused plug when no-one else does? The UK is the only country to have fused plugs for domestic power socket outlets. David, one of our members, reviewed the history of Wiring Regulations in the UK and reasons for the UK's adoption of the ring main and fused plugs.
David Latimer, RMS Member