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News, Information and Comment about Sundials, Sundial Websites, Sundial Societies and Related Matters
Medway Council removes one of the Nation's most important sundials! In an extraordinary move, Medway Council in Kent has taken down one of the most famous sundials in the country, SRN2936 in the National Register, which was in Railway Street, Chatham and which commemorates both the day and the time of the death of Admiral Lord Nelson. The dial was designed over twenty years ago by Christopher Daniel MBE, the President of the British Sundial Society, and it has been a major feature of the town since then. It is a dial known to thousands both in the UK and overseas.
The worrying thing is that there is a suggestion of it being placed in a museum - all rather suggesting that the problem of reinstallation had never been considered let alone planned. More can be found about this in the article in the 9th March edition of Kent on Line. Click here to read more.
Then Click here to read Chris Daniel's 1995 article about the original installation and how Chatham regarded it then! Hint: In 1995 it was then regarded as the 'Jewel in the Crown' of a £5.5M investment to improve the environment of Chatham!
If you wish to register your concern about this most unwelcome development the contact is Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR.
09.03.17 (Photo and ar ticle © C StJH Daniel MBE)
Another Dial - Another Headache! In 2013 the octagonal Luton Hoo Walled Garden celebrated the tercentenary of its builder - the 3rd Earl of Bute, scientist of his day, though a particularly unpopular Prime Minister. It was he who, in the 18thC, had been instrumental in the establishment of Kew Gardens. As a part of the celebrations for this birthday celebration, an analemmatic dial was commissioned and largely constructed by the Garden's own team of volunteers.
However, what had basically been a straightforward dial delineation task ended up uncovering an extraordinary fact. The garden is nearly aligned to the sunrises and sunsets at the solstices and equinoxes of its location - and it is not clear why!
Read about the Earl of Bute and how, with 'Capability' Lancelot Brown, he moved his garden from near the river up no less than 200 feet to the top of a hill, arguably to the most inconvenient location for a huge five acre garden and one that requires similarly huge amounts of water.
Bute combined interests of botany, astronomy and
philosophical instruments all of which appear to be significant in the
concepts behind the walled garden. But why was it built like this?
Such devices were used long ago to lay out sundials on any fixed surface and they are useful when the surfaces are not as accessible as one might wish. Modern versions usually make use of theodolite mechanisms and a laser but such isn't necessary. This hand drawn diagram explains the theory and demonstrates the use of this device and all on one page too!
View the page here - or click on the thumbnail.
The December Edition of the BSS Bulletin is published. Information about recent Bulletins of BSS is no longer maintained on the BSS web site, but SunInfo provides it here. The December 2016 edition of the Bulletin included the following articles. Back copies are available to Members of the Society.
An Italian Cruciform Dial - Mike Cowham
A new Summer Time debate on the Sundial
Mail List supports the status quo! The excellent
recently carried a discussion on the matter of Permanent Daylight Saving
Time. The topic even expanded into the unusual idea of permanent
double summertime which had been suggested by one contributor on the basis
of road accident reduction, before the logic for it was exposed as faulted
when even long after the British permanent summertime experiment of
1968-71 had been abandoned, road deaths had continued to fall. Indeed,
those who remember the last use of Double Summertime in Britain (it
was during WW2) will remember its astonishing unpopularity with parents
and only the imposition of and experience with, Identity Cards were of
greater concern to much of the population. The UK experiment
with permanent (single) summertime failed because only those in the SE of
the UK saw any benefit and similar experiments in Portugal have also
proved hugely unpopular. The archived Mail List thread entitled
Permanent DST may be freely read by those who may be interested
'Enid Blyton's Dial' - Rediscovery and Restoration For the last 30 years of her life Enid Blyton lived at Green Hedges, 42 Penn Road in Beaconsfield. The house had been built by one Charles Maggs around 1912 and it was he who commissioned a sundial which was originally positioned high up on the south gable of the house. All trace of the dial was lost after the house came to be demolished in 1973. Then in 2013 it was found, bought by Kari Dorme, a committee member of The Beaconsfield Society and it has now been restored and installed at Bekonscot Model Village in Beaconsfield - a place much loved by Blyton. See the restored dial and read about its discovery and the restoration here.
Dial of the Month: Tower Hill and the Gunpowder Plot
Christopher Daniel's sundial at (or rather above) the Tower Hill Tube Station in London has a large bronze outer ring that includes panels that celebrate a host of major events in the country's history. For this November we show the dial and the plaque that is devoted to the Gunpowder Plot. More about the Plot.
Click on Christopher's dial image here to see the bronze panel which commemorates the Gunpowder Plot of November 5th 1605..
Enjoy a spell at the Gaol House!
That is enjoy the outside of the Gaol House in
Lynn, Norfolk! Sitting as it does next to the wonderful Town Hall
in the area of the Saturday Market, it sports on its roof line, a
majestic vertical west declining sundial dated, it is believed, to 1784
and delineated by S Bunnett. It has as its motto 'Tempus Fugit'. Click
on the image for a close up of the dial face. The dial declines 10
degrees West of South and is marked with tall Roman lettering, quarter
hours with the half hours having inward extending trefoil ended lines
and rather less commonly, with an individual marker for each half hour
engraved in the chapter ring. A really elegant dial.
© VL Thomson 2016)
The Dial at Sherborne Castle is listed as SRN 1929 in the UK's National Register. It was first recorded in 1992 and hasn't been recorded frequently since. Also it isn't easy to study. Set high on the tower to the left of the entrance to this delightful castle it is a pedimented vertical declining dial which declines slightly East.
Click on the image here for a close up.
Image taken 13.10.16 at 13:38:46 GMT
Although these images do not show it well, an observer at the tower can just discern traces of its Roman numerals which are now only faintly visible. Oddly, these numerals appear to be recessed rather than proud so suggesting that the dial was originally engraved as well as painted rather than simply painted on a flat ground. (Usually formerly painted dials protect the background from erosion so resulting in raised lettering).
Apart from this, the dial, its mounting and its gnomon are in good condition. A pity that it hasn't yet been restored to its earlier elegance.
The Dollar Academy Sundial Dollar is one of the Hillfoots Villages of Clackmannanshire lying as it does between Stirling and St Andrews. Its famous school, the Dollar Academy lies in the town and its main school building is a striking neoclassical design by the eminent Scottish architect William Henry Playfair.
When an additional school building was needed for modern languages and economics, the Westwater building was designed and completed at the end of June 2015. It is named after George Westwater, a private in the 1/4th Battalion, Royal Scots QER, who was killed at Gallipoli on 28 June 1915 at the age of 21, almost one 100 years to the day prior to the building’s completion.
In time for the formal opening on the 23 March 2016 by Lord Brodie, a declining vertical sundial incorporating a sphere, was commissioned. The sphere demonstrates how the sun's light travels round the Earth in the course of the day. The two sided panel carries text on the reverse showing the Equation of Time and the longitude and latitude and the back half of the sphere emerges from the the reverse of the panel.
Dial of the Month. Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, Ragusa, Sicily.
This month we show the sundial that is on the facade of the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer in Ragusa, Sicily. The dial is delineated in Italian hours (shown in black). The red lines show the equinox and mid summer declination lines and the Taurus/Cancer zodiac symbols. The dial lies at 36.93N, 14.75E and appears to decline approximately S105 degs W.
At the bottom are the words 'LINE S. VINC. Ferreri'.
Click the image for two photographs.
25.09.16 Photo©copyright VL Thomson, 2016.
Athens' Tower of the Winds Opens The so called Horologion of Andronikos Kyrrhestes in Athens is an octagonal Pentelic marble clocktower and early timepiece situated in the Roman Agora. It still features a combination of sundials, a water clock, and it probably held a weather vane too. Thought by some to have been built by Andronicus of Cyrrhus around 50 BC but possibly by another even as early as the 2nd century BC, the Athens Ephorate of Antiquities began cleaning and conserving the structure in 2014 and this has just been completed! The North American Sundial Society NASS has an excellent article about this fascinating building. Read it Here
A Cumbrian Riders' Dial can be found in the lovely churchyard of Hall Waberthwaite in Cumbria on the shore of the Esk Estuary. Installed in 1830 in memory of the Rev J Stanley, it is mounted on a pedestal five or so feet high, placed there for horse riders!
The dial is well made by Watkins & Hill and is nicely and accurately delineated. Set on a moulded square plinth, turned upright, and moulded square top with inset circular brass plate and gnomon. Read about it in a recent Guardian article
Sawyer Dialing Prize 2016 This year's Sawyer Dialing prize was awarded to Roger Bailey at the NASS annual conference in Portland, ME. The certificate recognizes Roger for "consistently showing the dialing community that all you need to know in life can be learned from studying sundials, and for using that study to advance the theory and practice of dialing." For many his seminal work was possibly his study and replication of the wonderful Ibn al-Shatir Sundial at the Great Mosque in Damascus which was constructed in 1371. Roger presented his paper on this work at both NASS and BSS Conferences, the latter in 2012. A PDF copy of his fascinating BSS Conference presentation, complete with notes all ©Roger Bailey et al, 2012, may be read here. It is approx 5.3MB in size.
The Gardom Edge Monolith
2012, Dr Daniel Brown, an astronomer with Nottingham Trent University,
surveyed one of the several standing stones within the Peak District
National Park where there are many ancient monuments ranging from
Neolithic times, through to Roman and the more modern. Gardom’s Edge has a
very interesting stone which is believed to be Neolithic and specifically
erected too. The stone is unusually (for us!) angled to the South
and one surface is only illuminated by the sun around the time of the
summer solstice. Brown took many measurements and wrote up the results of
his work in the BSS Bulletin. No other such 'seasonal' sundials are
known in the UK. Anyone know of some in Europe?
Read Dr Brown's fascinating BSS article here, and
On the first of July 2016, nearly one hundred Volunteers dressed in the uniform of World War One soldiers were just one part of a UK-wide event as a modern memorial to mark the centenary of the battle.
In Plymouth this was performed around the huge Plymouth sundial.
Click on the image for a larger picture or click
here to see the eight minute video of the
'flash mob' as it performed at the sundial
Decyphering Progresses on the
The greatest hope is that archaeologists currently revisiting the shipwreck will uncover pieces overlooked by the sponge divers who found it a century ago — or even another similar mechanism.
Uncovered in 2012 in Turkey's southern Hatay province, the mosiac shows a skeleton lying down with a jorum in his hand and a wine jug and bread to the side. Recently noticed however and next on the mosaic is a representation of a sundial!
Click on the image for a larger image and click here for the report. The mosaic has been dated to the 3rd century BC.
Archaeologist Demet Kara at the Hatay Archaeology Museum said "...there is a
sundial in the mosaic and a young man is shown running towards it
with a bare-headed 'slave' behind. The sundial shows a time of between 9
and 10 am solar time. 9am would have been the bath time in Roman times. He would have
had to arrive at supper at 10am. There is writing on the scene that
indicates that he is late for the meal!
The BSS Beach Sundial - washed up! There was no tour of local sundials at the BSS Conference in 2016 and there are not many nearby 'working' dials nearby either. So with no dials to look at, a small group of diallists came armed with plans, tape measure, straight edge and a broom and made their way to Crosby beach to construct their own analemmatic dial using one of Sir Anthony Gormley’s life-size sculptures as the 'human' gnomon! Accurately laid out to tell the time - year round too, though it would always have had to be shared with Gormley's 'man' stood on the April date - it was set out with sunrise and sunset markers and even a sort of motto - well, really only the name of the society. Sadly the sun never shone and the tide soon made sure it was never going to work! An unachieved goal really.
Several long standing BSS 'Stalwarts' sadly did not attend the BSS Conference in Liverpool 2016. Some of them, we learned, because of illness and cost but others put off by the society's current management.
Consequently attendances and the number of speakers were once again seriously affected. In fact fewer than 55 delegates registered this year, that was even fewer than those attending last year's conference.
Those interested to know more about this conference
can see more details at:
01.09.15, 12.03.16, 03.04.16, 11.04.16, 12.04.16, 14.04.16, 24.04.16
Delineated by Richard Glynne who served his apprenticeship under Henry Wynne and operated from London premises in both Cheapside and Fleet Street in the period 1712-1729. He retired in 1730. Click here or on the image for more details.
David Payne's suggestion for a Noon Mark gets approval!! Regular visitors to this site will know of David Payne's extraordinary project to place sundials of various types along the Burlingham Woodland Walks in Norfolk. The walks are about 7 miles east of Norwich and they can be accessed at a number of start points, including that from North Burlingham.
Click the thumbnail for the impressive list of those sundials currently in place or under construction. The next one will make use of an existing 15 ft high beacon which was erected in 2012 to mark the Queen's Jubilee on playing fields nearby. This will be a Noon mark, with an analemma on the ground that marks the months, solstices and equinoxes.
We await further details with interest. SunInfo will provide
progress reports as we have them. Contact the
webmaster if you wish to
sponsor any of the dials.
Celebrate the Solstice! Built in 3,200BC - YES, some 5,200 years ago - Newgrange is the world’s oldest known building. Every year at sunrise on the winter solstice, but for only as much as 17 minutes, the sun shines directly down a long corridor of stone and illuminates the inner chamber at Newgrange. Professor O'Kelly who excavated and restored the megalithic passage tomb, remembered a local tradition which said that 'the sun always shone into the tomb at midsummer'. Discovered in 1699 by chance and first excavated in 1969 by Professor O'Kelly, a slit over the entrance, the 'roofbox', as it came to be known, was designed to admit the summer sun to the tomb without the entrance stone having to be moved. But, he said, it was quite obvious to us that it couldn't happen at midsummer because of the position of the sun' says O'Kelly. 'So if the sun was to shine in at all, the only possibility would be in midwinter.' So we have today's marvel. Watch it one year, if you can, at Newgrange itself or see the link here. And - More about the Solstice itself
Frans Maes has
recently recovered the information prepared by the late Fer de Vries
the construction of an Hemispherium.
The Summer Solstice in Florence Cathedral. Here's a YouTube® clip of the sun's disc traversing the meridian line in Florence's Duomo on the day of the summer solstice. The sun is allowed to shine through a hole in the roof of the building onto a meridian line on the floor inside. It was set up in Florence's Cathedral in about 1460 when Paolo Toscanella pierced Brunelleschi's dome and marked a meridian on the floor of the nave. This meridian was only marked out for the period immediately around the summer solstice (by a graduated marble slab) and so could only be used for checking whether the solstice coincided with the correct date in June. See the spot of light on the floor of the 'Chapel of the Cross'here. Courtesy D-G.U 14.09.15
Linking to the BSS web site if you are being
'Forbidden' from doing so by BSS!
Direct hyperlinks to the BSS website from SunInfo were at one time being blocked by BSS. That stopped for a while when the new BSS web site opened but now in late 2015 some visitors to SunInfo are reporting that this is happening again.
You might well wonder why any professional entity like BSS should want to make it hard for visitors like you to reach them. The more so when the advisory 'error' messages you receive actually says in print what they are doing!
All our visitors will know very well that this web site is and always has been, very supportive of the concept and importance of a British Sundial Society; although it has never had any truck with the many apparent blunders, secrecy, cover-ups or obfuscations that some might have come to see as emanating from the Society today. (A list of just some of the more recent ones compiled from all of your inputs - and sadly there are rather a lot - will be available on this site in due course so you may soon judge for yourself).
The latest issue to report is, we feel, another rather unprofessional and ineffective attempt by BSS to bar linking from this SunInfo website (and not from others) to pages of the BSS web site. Clearly the concerns expressed by so many contributors on SunInfo about BSS and its management must have real merit if BSS would rather you did not read them.
So, what is happening? Who would ever want to block visitors from a website if there's nothing odd going on and especially when what is being said is true?
Well, if you do find a BSS page 'Forbidden' to you - without any reason simply select the whole link, right click and select 'Open Link in New Tab'. It's as easy as that!
Sometimes you might get:
"The owner of this website (www.sundialsoc.org.uk) has banned your access based on your browser's signature (24ddd725bccc3452-ua32). CloudFlare Ray ID: 24ddd725bccc3452 • Your IP: 22.214.171.124 • Performance & security by CloudFlare" .
In this case simply set your browser to Incognito and go back in.
You can also go to our special links page ►BSS links . Indeed, this new SunInfo links-page is now in a limited way, a sort of 'One-Stop-Shop' for some key BSS pages; so you can use it from within SunInfo to peruse as many of the provided pages of the BSS website as you like.
Give it a try and thank you for staying with SunInfo. It is very much appreciated.
Remember: SunInfo does not restrict linking to any of its pages by any website and SunInfo reports facts.
E &O.E 25/26.02.14, 05.03.14, 06.07.14,30.11.15, 23.12.16
'Backwards sundial' yields a compass that is said to be able to locate North to better than 100th of a degree. New Scientist (05.08.15 edition) reports that for an outlay of around £70 a digital camera can be fitted with a slit lens to measure the angle of the sun in the sky. By combining this with a GPS sensor that provides the location and time, the compass can calculate the relative positions of the sun and Earth, and tell you which way is north. More here at Optics Letters.
Solstice Event in Bari, Italy Dan Uza recently alerted the
sundial Internet mail list to a
fascinating event that takes place at 5pm on the
day of the summer solstice. Every summer solstice at 5 o'clock in the
afternoon the rays of the sun pass through the rose window of Bari
cathedral and they align with a marble pattern inlaid on the ground in the
middle of the nave. A time lapse video of this event is available at:
NB: SunInfo hopes shortly to be able to present some additional material on this event with photographs courtesy of Dan Uza. Watch this space!!
Were penalties incurred by BSS at their Nottingham Conference? SunInfo recently learned that the lower than expected numbers of attending delegates at the recent 2015 Nottingham Conference might have actually triggered a penalty clause in the contract with either the conference authorities or with the hotel - or possibly both. If, on further investigation, this proves to be true and it turns out that committed bookings and the numbers of likely attendees had not been kept in synchronism during the process of conference organisation, then it will constitute yet another in the (very) long line of blunders by this BSS Council. Not only that but using charitable assets to subsidise a section of the membership may in itself be contrary to charity law and be something which, under current rules, the society may be required to report to the Charity Commission. We shall report in due course. In the meantime SunInfo has learned that the new committee that is organising the 2016 conference is aiming for an attendance of at least 80. That would indeed be good news for the society and for the membership too. STOP PRESS! BSS's Net Current Assets Fell 5¼% in the 2015 year and attendance at the 2016 conference was apparently less than 55.
15.05.15, 04.06.15, 25.04.16
Term future of the BSS Library FINALLY assured. BSS members will have noted the
recent and welcome change of heart by the Council of BSS Trustees that was
announced by BSS Librarian Nick Orders in the December 2014 Newsletter. In this the security of the BSS
Library was affirmed at last and the on-going commitment of the trustees to its support and maintenance was finally confirmed.
Churlishly in the circumstances, it seems they refused to do so. Members will simply not understand this extraordinary attitude, one which has already led to such dissension within the Society. Nor will they understand why such earlier misguided calls for the dissolution of the library had not been thrown out MUCH earlier by the Council. Blunders in today's management of the BSS seem to many members to be occurring far too frequently and the absence of any apology is not only worrying, it is astonishing.
A few copies of the donation document were circulated - see this copy below.
To see more of the 2015 BSS Conference please click here
13.04.13, 09.05.15, 22.06.15
NOW, Christopher Daniel has replied to the unfounded comments made in a Member's September letter to the Council which has already been reported below and which is to be seen in our special page about the Books Issue. Read Christopher's reply here. It of course confirms what all members of the Society - except apparently the complainant - already knew. Yet most BSS Members will surely also be baffled as to why such comments - which are entirely irrelevant to the Books issue and are in any case incorrect - came to be raised in the first place.
17.11.14 Published with permission
Yet again, the BSS Council says 'take it or leave it'. Prominent BSS Member and fellow academic, Dr Martin Jenkins, recently wrote to BSS Chairman Frank King suggesting a meeting to help resolve the matter of the ownership of the President's books. The approach was rebuffed and the Chairman's reply was once again only to 'urge Chris to accept the original offer'. This was the unreasonable, non-negotiated 'take it or leave it' offer made a long time ago. There was no mention let alone discussion of Christopher's generous alternative 50 year loan offer which would be of such importance to the membership. BSS Members will surely be appalled at what they must see as the clear contempt being shown by their Council over this important issue. Not only that but can anyone really believe that even now the entire BSS library contents are STILL at risk of an ill-considered majority decision by any board of trustees in the future. This is unacceptable.
Now in connection with the matter of Christopher Daniel's Books, SunInfo has received two copies of what can only be described as an astonishing document, one written in support of the Council by a BSS Member. See if you agree that it demonstrates the paucity of logic that such a stance brings with it and the need of some to resort to unnecessary and even quite unfounded criticism in an attempt to lend what might be considered misguided support to the Council's argument. The ordinary BSS Member will surely be aghast at this sort of attack which does the Council no credit over its handling of the matter of Christopher's Books.. Visit our special page on this matter for more details here.
Then look at just how much Christopher has actually written to date here
Some of the BSS Membership have now responded to the Council's extraordinary letter that was emailed to them by Frank King on 11.09.14. Follow this wholly unnecessary saga at our special page devoted to the way in which the BSS Council is still treating its eminent President, Christopher Daniel MBE here. Latest news is at the bottom of that page. Or simply jump to the membership's response now.
Still the comments come in about the issue of Christopher Daniel's books and the BSS library. The Council recently issued members with what some see as an almost completely incorrect summary of the position, because it claims that it is Christopher who will not negotiate and who blocks acceptance of a deal.. To many however, a deeper analysis of it indicates that:
The reaction of the Membership has been swift and predictable:
And Now (1), in another twist and three months after first being formally asked for its evidence to support its stance that Christopher Daniel's books were indeed a gift, the Society has had to be asked again. That was dated 16th July and there is still no reply from BSS more than another month later!!!!! Members must now be wondering if this 'evidence' really does exist. See the latest requesting letter from the solicitor ►here.
And Now (2), in yet another twist it turns out that the Council, despite having spent (in 2013 alone), roughly the equivalent of 117 membership subscriptions on two London Legal firms' advice to change the status of the charity to a CIO (Info here), they appear only last year to have discovered that they do not own the BSS Trademark Logo! You really could not make this up.
And Now (3), One opinion seen by SunInfo suggests that it seems that charity law fully provides for gifts to be returned to their original donor! So, no matter what argument BSS chooses, there appears to be no excuse not to return Christopher's books!!
And Now (4), Keen to ensure that they can continue to use the BSS logo when the new CIO (Info here) comes into effect, the trustees of BSS proposed a swap of books for title to the logo - take it or leave it. So now we know. The trustees are NOT after all prevented from returning Christopher's books! Just why has this issue ever arisen and just what does it say about trustee 'competence'?
BSS Conferences. Want to see summaries, photographs, programmes and delegate reviews of previous BSS conferences or the plans for the next one?
20.04.12, 16,01,13, 02.03.13, 27.04.14
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SunInfo's Historical Document Archive
Here may be found documents relating to
BSS society governance and operation and sundials generally - a
bibliographical and historical resource for researchers
Ramblings was the name given to a one-time regular
entry in the society's Newsletter. The column was started by Patrick Powers
when he took over as Registrar in 1997 with the purpose of keeping the
membership informed about progress with the National Register of sundials.
It was produced during
Patrick's 10 year tenure as Registrar from the beginning of 1998 to the end
of 2007. All are in Word 2003 format.
The Newsletter column has been continued by the current Registrar (John Foad)
under the title Register Notes. Some of his more recent editions may
be seen on the BSS website.
Register Ramblings: A zipped archive of all 37 issues of Register Ramblings
The Recorder & DialTime
The Recorder: is a four page colour magazine that was issued to delegates at each BSS Spring Conference and which served to comment on issues of interest to Dial Recorders and the general membership alike. It was instituted by the then Registrar (Patrick Powers) at the Yarnfield Conference in 2003 as a way of giving something back to the recording membership and it has been published annually since - until 2014. A PDF version is usually prepared each year and placed on the BSS website so that those who could not get to the Annual Conference may still be able to read it. The Recorder is edited and published by the Society's Registrar of the time. Here are links to them. There was no edition of the Recorder published for 2015 and the 2013 edition is still not yet published on the BSS website.
DialTime: is by way of being a
similar publication to the Recorder and is published intermittently by
Policy, Guidance, Rules, Information Sheets & General Documents
The Society was indeed fortunate when Graham Aldred took over as Secretary for he transformed the record keeping and policy structure of the Society. Prior to Graham's Secretaryship there were few, if any, written policies or even guides for trustees and specialists. Additionally and because of the Society's small size, past Council decisions had rarely been recorded by former secretaries other than in the (then unsearchable) minutes. This section lists just some of the Society's approved policies, rules, guidance and other general documents that have been drafted or edited by various trustees as a result of his initiative. All documents are included here with permission of their authors (or their editors at the time). Policies may of course be changed at any time by a majority vote of the trustees; for this reason check before you rely on the minutiae of any policy. Where a policy proposal was agreed by the trustees without any change, the original proposal was sometimes used as the policy document. Since April 2011 one policy (that relating to Reserves) has been abandoned, even contrary to a prior agreement with the Charity Commission and without informing the Commission too. Another (the Expenses policy) has not always been implemented as intended. These disquieting issues led to the resignations of two trustees in 2011/12 - the first resignations of trustees that the society has experienced in its history and despite these both issues remain unresolved even in 2016.
Policy & Practice
Documents (incl some early editions)
to Information sheet:
Know your Society |
Link to Information Sheet:
We've Changed our Clothes |
List of BSS Conferences
Conference locations to 2013 |
Bibliographies & Other Misc Documents/URLs and even books of interest
This site is continually being updated with more documents, news and analysis.
See some of the dials that can be seen from your armchair on Google's Street View®. Here
See some of the many photographs of sundials to be seen on Google®, Here
The extraordinary (and to many, the appalling) comments made by the BSS's Council at the April 2013 Edinburgh BSS Conference contributed to no fewer than 340 visits to this site in April 2013 alone and a further 364 in May with 51 of the visitors in May spending more that half an hour on the site - 37 of those for more than an hour and 42 for more than one hour in June! Not surprising given the facts. Now we have received copies of the text of quite astonishing emails from the Council about their attempts to restrict this website and about the way the BSS President (no less) has been bullied by this Council!
If you were a delegate at the April 2013 Edinburgh Conference, our advice is not to dismiss as baseless the criticisms that had been made about the present Council's 'Integrity' until you know all the facts. We shall have more to say on this not least on the strange matter of a misinformed and complaining letter sent by the BSS Chairman which of course prompted a robust correcting response and which on its receipt was swiftly followed by the Council back-tracking and saying: (and remember it was BSS who initiated this particular correspondence) 'We shall not engage in such correspondence'!
Pleading the 5th or what?
All that glisters is most certainly not gold in all this. It's really gratifying that so many just do not believe what was said by the Council at Edinburgh - nor what was included in an insert with the June Bulletin - and have turned to this web page and even directly to the webmaster for information. It's also pleasing that so many spend such a long time on this site in the process; many for more than one hour!. Thanks so much for coming and please do keep coming back - there's still a lot more to add - and especially more to comment on! You really will find facts here.
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the grid corresponds to ten degrees in celestial longitude (right ascension)
and latitude (declination). Throughout the year, the sun and planets
all move from right to left through the 360 degrees of celestial longitude.
The BSS Chairman's Radio Interview!
Just a bit of fun
At the 2012 Annual BSS Conference held in Cheltenham, and perhaps rather mischievously, there was played a clip from a radio Interview that the Chairman, Frank King, had had with Chris Evans on Radio 2 on 28th March 2012. It was about sundials. It makes interesting listening. Not only does it extol the interest that there is in sundials of all types but it proves to be the first 'interview' that Chris Evans has had where he did not ask a question!! An mp3 audio version of the interview (it is 800kB in size) may be downloaded to your PC and played using Windows Media Player or another proprietary package like IrfanView here
|Frank King's 2014 lecture||
The opening lecture at the BSS 25th Anniversary Conference held
in Greenwich on 25th April 2014 was given by Frank King and was entitled
|BSS's Mike Shaw on the Antiques Roadshow||
BSS Member Mike Shaw appeared on a recent edition of the BBC's Antiques Roadshow in order to have two of his heliochronometers valued. Click here to see the clip Best with Broadband .
|The Sundial Atlas||Sundial Atlas is a public website, the brainchild of gnomonists Savian Fabio and Fabio Garnero. It was created to give all dialling enthusiasts a tool to document and search for images and information on sundials around the world.|
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|This website is managed independently of any other sundial related site. The material in this and any connected pages is sourced from several people and resources and it changes regularly. Commentary and other material herein will also change in emphasis and at any time may not reflect the policy or opinion of any national sundial society including the British Sundial Society, its trustees, its specialists, its members or even the views of the owner of this website. Whilst providing a forum for comment, which may sometimes be critical, it seeks to be a supporter and a promoter of the British Sundial Society, its objects, its concept and its charitable status. We try very hard to ensure that the information and views expressed, on these pages are both complete and correct and that no copyright has been infringed. Document text is chosen and published on this website with the author(s)' permission on the basis that outwith a contract of employment at the time of writing or a pre-existing or any known subsequent legal transfer of rights, the copyright in the text is assumed to rest with the author and that his/her permission is sufficient to permit publication. If you have noticed an error or an omission on this or any other page or can suggest an improvement, a useful addition, or if you believe that any specific copyright may have been infringed, wrongly attributed or has been the subject of any actual or implied transfer of rights away from the original author, then please do send an email giving full details to the Webmaster and action will always be taken, apologies issued and appropriate and corrective text inserted. Received comments will be published. See here for details of any such. Except where permission for use has been specifically obtained and stated it should be assumed that under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act (2013) and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, copyright is claimed over all images on this domain.|
Sundial Society Websites with English text
|The North American Sundial Society web site may be reached at http://sundials.org/. The Dutch sundial website (with an English section) De Zonnewijzerkring may be reached at http://www.de-zonnewijzerkring.nl/. The longest established English language sundial web site is probably Sundials on the Internet at http://www.sundials.co.uk. The official British Sundial Society Web site may be found at BSS Web Site. The BSS Facebook Page can be reached at www.facebook.com/sundialsoc. This however is not currently being maintained. When operating properly, the Facebook page offers a message board facility by which anyone may make comments and ask questions about dialling and/or the society. The British society also owns the domains www.sundialsociety.org.uk and www.britishsundialsociety.org.uk. When not in use for development purposes these automatically link to the official site. The Sundial Association of New Zealand operates an English Language Sundials Blog: http://sundials-rosaleen.blogspot.co.uk/. Websites in languages other than English may usually be understood by using Google Translate.|
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