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    Re: GPS as a time authority
    From: Brad Morris
    Date: 2009 Sep 15, 23:52 -0400

    Hi Douglass
    
    I must say that I rather enjoyed my visits to the Greenwich Museum and the 
    National Maritime Museum down the hill.
    
    Harrison's chronometers were fascinating to watch.  I drove my wife absolutely 
    bonkers.  Contrary to Mr. Betts' opinion, I spent the better part of 2 hours 
    staring at the mechanisms, on each of my two visits to that room.  Would have 
    spent more time there but my wife mutinied.
    
    I found the NMM and the displays of navigational equipment, like the repeating 
    reflecting circles on the second floor, to be wonderful.  I would easily do 
    that again.
    
    I suppose I have pity on the poor curators.  Catering to the whims of the vast 
    majority of un-educated tourists, whilst disappointing the thirst of the 
    knowledgable.
    
    Best Regards
    Brad
    
    
    
    
    ________________________________________
    From: navlist@fer3.com [navlist@fer3.com] On Behalf Of 
    douglas.denny{at}btopenworld.com [douglas.denny{at}btopenworld.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 3:17 PM
    To: NavList@fer3.com
    Subject: [NavList 9752] Re: GPS as a time authority
    
    Exactly correct. I was informed of that too.
    It most likely was the same particular Caesium standard - now owned by the 
    Greenwhich Observatory Museum, and was on display a few years ago in the 
    'Time Room'  along with Harrson's clocks.
    
    Teddington had (if I remember correctly) a couple of those Hewelet Packard 
    "portable" atomic clocks. I am pleased (and give myself a pat on the back) 
    that it was myself that suggested that particular Caesium Clock should be 
    given to the Greeenwich Observatory museum, as the Teddington time department 
    was going to throw them out, as they were obsolete because of the GPS 
    comparison method.
    
    The Greewich museum also had on display an example of PIM - Precision 
    Indication of the Meridian on it's properly designed tripod.
    ----------
    
    Sad to say, the Greenwich Museum is now but a shadow of it's former glory. 
    More a kiddies play room now, with only a very few artefacts on display and 
    practically no explanations of any substance about either time measurement or 
    navigation.  The main atttraction still being of course the Harrison 
    chronometers - the only reason for going into the museum now in my opinion, - 
    Oh, I should also include - experiencing the Octagon room where Neville 
    Maskelyne worked in the old original part of the Observatory.
    
    The 'Time room' in the basement which you had to go down the helical staircase 
    to get to, was literally stuffed full of chronometers and clocks of all 
    descriptions, including displays of all of different stages of development of 
    the chronometer showing the different methods of compensation. A wonderful 
    magical place.  Mostly all working too, ticking away merrily they seemed to 
    be alive. A wonderful experience which I well remember the first time I went 
    into that room.  Now that's all gone and there is nothing other than 
    Harrison's clocks and one or perhaps two chronometers only upstairs.  A 
    terrible shame. And a cheek to call it a museum of time and navigation as it 
    has been robbed of everything that made it so.
    
    And why? .... I complained to Johnathan Betts the curator and was told that is 
    "museum policy" (!?)  They have done surveys (!!??) and found the maximum 
    time anyone stays in the room as the walk through is one or two minutes, and 
    on that basis they believe it is:  "appropriate to only display a very few 
    items so they have chance to absorb something".
    
    How daft is that? .... you couldn't make it up. I don't suppose it occurs to 
    them that only having a few items to see means people will only spend a few 
    seconds glancing around, then leave the room because there is nothing to 
    see!!
    The country has gone mad.
    
    The Greenwich Museum and Science Museum in Kensington (for they are just as 
    bad with the same daft "museum policy") should give everything they have 
    stored in the vast warehouses in Wiltshire to the Smithsonian Museum in the 
    USA where it would be revered and put on display,  instead of gathering dust 
    in some dark corner of a government warehouse here.  Britain has never 
    appreciated it's wonderful heritage and rich history in the same way as the 
    Americans do.
    
    Douglas Denny.
    Chichester. England.
    
    
    
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