2024 July Meeting

Douglas Bateman BSc FBHI
‘Timekeeping: A hobby of a Lifetime’.

Doug has been a horologist for over 50 years, his first interest was precision horology which grew and grew into an extensive career. He has an extremely active scientific mind and an understanding of mathematics that led to him contributing to the 2nd edition of A J Rawlings book The Science of Clocks and Watches.

I first encountered him around 1978 when he handed over one of his radio check rate machines to Martin Burgess, creator of the Harrison clocks A and B after a Science Museum lecture. This was to my mind the infancy of the GPS clocks that we take for granted today. Douglas not only provided Martin with a state-of-the-art time base on which to test his Harrison masterpieces, but he also became involved in the 1990s with The Greenwich Time Ball when Jonathan Betts asked if it was possible for the Rugby radio time signal to control the raising and lowering of the ball. Doug is not only proficient with the making of a precision mechanical clock, i.e. temperature compensation and barometric pressure compensation, but also with electronics that are sometimes used to provide impulses and digital recording of time. He also understands the quality (Q) factor of a pendulum and he will bring along several Bob shapes to illustrate how a pendulum interacts with the air that surrounds it giving it a better Q. He was a lifelong friend of Philp Woodward and would have had many a discussion with Bob Holmstrom the long-term editor of the Horological Science Newsletter who recently passed away. Doug has a parallel interest in trig points and the history of Ordnance Survey. He was also involved with measuring Big Ben in the 70s when the fly shaft sheared, he has written many an article on horology including “The Trouble with John Harrison” He is an inaugural member of the British Sundial Society, a Fellow of the British Horological Institute and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers.

Doors open 19:30 Starting 20.00 hours.