Thursday, 19 March 2015


And a practical tip

Around 11 o'clock in the morning of Wednesday 11 August 1999 a cheery bunch of staff of the Foundation for Conductive Education gathered outside the National Institute building in Birmingham, to watch the near total eclipse of the sun.

There were no conductors and no clients there (all on their summer holidays) but everyone else whom it took to maintain the organisation's diverse activities at home and abroad, domestic staff, administration, library, information/publicity, fundraising,  and me. A small, relaxed gathering.

It was a warm August day with a thin overcast. There had been some trepidation about what to do, given dire media warnings against looking directly at the sun, and the various mechanical proposals made for safe viewing all seemed rather too much trouble. In the event we used the simplest means of all, we looked at the sun's reflection in a large bowl of water, the simplest to prepare and to use, and 100% effective. The thin overcast notwithstanding, the near total eclipse was totally clear to all.

Not altogether fascinating to observe but it was a jolly occasion and we could all claim to have seen it. The next one, promised for 2015, seemed a very long way away.

That was a fond little collective, now gone their own ways as people must. It is nice to be reminded.

Tomorrow's partial eclipse will take place rather earlier in the day, and earlier in the year. It will be cloudy and, if today is anything to go by, there may be some fog too. I doubt that I shall prepare a bowl of water, even in remembrance, though I pass this tip on as worth remembering should you ever need it.



Anonymous Gillian Maguire said...

I remember it well but didn't realise it was that long ago. There are photos of the occasion in the Foundation's archive - we are all preserved for posterity - if they are still there!

Thursday, 19 March 2015 at 16:22:00 GMT  

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