Thursday, 18 December 2008

A Doctor in the Family

I have been meaning to add a 'post' for some time now, but I've been distracted by so much happening during my semi-conscious hours. Sounds and pictures of a Traction Engine being tested for 'valve timing', selecting and printing photographs for the annual 'Thanks to volunteers' at the Long Shop Museum, treating myself to a few new 'tech toys' for Christmas. Then having to learn how to use them! Several other chores come to mind, but will over look for the purpose of this entry.

Being at the Long Shop the other day however, gave me a chance to look at the more social side of the Museum rather than the Engineering side that I usually indulge in. I knew off Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, but had not really followed up on her life., but having dressed-up as Frank Garrett for a Schools 'Apprentice Day' event a while back....The children are given a period costume work experience at the Museum for a day. No cars allowed, nor computers to be seen. Discipline and doffing of caps absolutely essential..... the beaming faces showed that they loved it.

Sorry, one of my 'red-herrings' getting in there. Elizabeth was of a tenacious personality, and having set her mind to becoming a Medical Doctor, in fact the very FIRST woman MD in the UK, my mind thoughts turned to my Niece who is a GP. Thus I was reading the booklet as pictured. It was within this narrative that I found a rather weak, but none the less valid link to the Garrett psyche. The Royal Free Hospital in London eventually established a Medical School admitting women to London University degree courses, the year was 1878. The link? Well The Royal Free was were I worked for the Medical Research Council for several years as an electronics design engineer, developing aids for both theater and ward monitoring, as well as a few research projects. True my base was at the Hampstead branch (before the current building was erected, ie. at the original 'Fever Hospital'. But I did travel quite a lot between there and Grays Inn Road, as well as the National Hospital for Neurology, Queens Square. There were also visits to The Maida Vale Hospital. These tenuous links may not mean very much, but it does feel comfortable to share various associations with the past, and who knows, maybe the future. It was from working at the Royal Free that I moved on to become closely linked -work wise- to the lady who started the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. For after she left the BBC, she set-up her own composing studio in Kent, where she set about investigating new ways to create music by electronic means. But that must be for a future BLOG.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

SQUIBS....A pre-teen pet. circa 1949

Squibs was a Second World War pussy cat. He was awarded his own 'Tin Hat' for services rendered. His claim to 'Local' fame was that as my parents did their 'Black-out' patrol, Squibs would parade ahead of them and sit in front of any house showing a chink of light. How he developed this gift we are still not sure. As the picture shows, he was rather a large animal, and another favorite trick was to jump around my smallish shoulders as I sat at table and almost make me put my face into the plate of food.

This is an earlier picture than Shylock, being about 1949, the same camera, but this time fitted with a small 'Capacitor, flash gun . These fired small flash-bulbs via a couple of zink carbon batteries. The bulbs sizzled as the flash went off due to the safety lacquer frying with the heat of the burning Magnesium wire inside the little glass bulb.

Squibs won this round, although he looks quite tired, I was much more so.

Location of HOME was South West LONDON, and we did receive War Damage.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

A second Stereo Test Recording' : From 1967

Long Shop Museum: A personal artefact.

Scanned from an original Display Card. I am not sure when it was manufactured, but the colour and type of card makes me believe that it could have been more than a hundred years ago. When I next go to the Museum, I will have to try and do some more research on the matter. This card is 24 cm width in real size: i.e. about 9 and 3/8ths of an inch.