I went on a very jolly trip to the Eskdalemuir observatory on Thursday, for an event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the day Lewis Fry Richardson took charge of the observatory. I have actually been to Eskdalemuir before: we sometimes arrange an outing there for the students on the Geophysics and Meteorology degree. But you can’t just turn up. Visitors are discouraged on account of the way their nasty metal cars disturb the Earth’s magnetic field. So it was nice to get a day out there with a busload of fellow boffins.
We were given badges with the Great Man on them, listened to some talks, saw a blue plaque unveiled and had a quick tour of the site.
The site is pretty interesting, although we didn’t get to see all of it on this trip. There are underground vaults and iron-free wooden huts for measuring the magnetic field. There is a vault of seismometers, historical meteorological instruments and fields of new types of weather sensors being tested. Maybe the Register will add it to their “Geek’s guide to Britain” series at some point. Let’s hope they remember to turn up in their non-magnetic car.