A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Brad Morris
Date: 2019 Nov 3, 17:10 -0500
It’s amazing what eBay throws up, often quite unexpectedly. Some years ago I purchased a copy of the 1941 ‘Alice in Wonderland’ edition of AP1234 which turned out to have been originally issued to Rob Campbell Stuart 77Sqn, one of the 50 Allied Aircrew murdered on Hitler’s orders after the real ‘Great Escape’ from Stalag Luft III.
About the same time, I purchased a copy of Hughes Tables, which I took a quick look at; decided it was too hard for me; and put into my library, never to be looked at again until this week. Upon closer examination last night, it appears to be a presentation copy of the first edition (1938) signed by Arthur J Hughes for Katherine M Stocks. Wondering if Ms Stocks was a famous 1930s navigator, I didn’t have far to go to find out. Three pages later in the preface, Leslie Cromrie, the compiler, (known to every school child in the UK, and probably New Zealand, in the 1950s, 60s, 70s as the author of their four figure log tables) gives Miss K M Stocks BA credit as being “responsible for the greater part of the work done on the tables”. Apart from yellowing and hardening of the pages, this copy of the tables is in very good condition and beautifully bound in red leatherette as per some copies of Weems. It’s also very readable if you take the time to sit down quietly with it, and the glossary in the front explains all those things you thought you probably knew but weren’t totally confident about like the relationship between Right Ascension and Sidereal Hour Angle (aka Versed Ascension).
How many other NavListers have purchased an item on eBay, Abe Books, or similar, and found it to have a much more interesting history than they ever expected? DaveP