The Engineer

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The Engineer last won the day on October 2 2016

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About The Engineer

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Within earshot of Little John
  • Interests
    Fettling and mending stuff, electrical and mechanical engineering, shovels, rain gauges, clock repairs.

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  1. I don't recall when I learned it but nowadays BODMAS is covered in Primary School. The order in which the mathematical 'operators' are considered is: Brackets Order (meaning powers and roots in this context - sometimes cited as Indices, making the acronym BIDMAS) Division Multiplication Addition Subtraction
  2. I doubt that art is a consideration for the court. The question would be whether it was criminal damage. If the owner of the wall did not give someone permission to paint it and if the painter committed the act with intent, knowing that they didn't have permission, I'd say the owner of the wall wins and the painter is probably ordered to pay compensation to have it cleaned off (it helps if someone admits to painting but a little tricky if you can't find them).
  3. DanielHST: It is difficult to speculate what is wrong without inspection/testing. I designed and built the electrical control panel from scratch (think that was 2012 - how time flies!) so I'd like to think that is still okay although I was not to happy about the temporary storage arrangements when it was moved from Birmingham to Nottingham (it may have been in a cold humid place - not good for things like the pins of plug-in relays and a barrel cam timer with microswitches). Previous issues have been failures of geared motors and damaged/maladjusted sensors/limit switches/barrel cam timer. Overall it is not particularly complicated - if they would let me have a look I am confident I could diagnose the problem(s).
  4. Jill: Sorry, my mistake. Indeed the centre itself has changed quite a bit. I think the plan behind moving the clock upstairs fitted with Intu's longer term objective of extending the centre to the north, revising the 'car park in the hole' area. The clock would have ended up in the middle of a larger complex (that all hinged on doing Broad Marsh first - rather academic now). I also think they were motivated by (a) more lucrative ways to generate income from third parties using the space in front of Boots and (b) increasing footfall to the upper north end where there are some child-oriented outlets (such as Disney and Build a Bear if they are still there) - the clock always did attract children wanting to make a wish.
  5. Mary1947: There is a similar clock by Emett in the Eastgate shopping centre in Basildon - I did visit to have a gander some years ago but surprise surprise - it wasn't working! It is called the Cat's Cradle Pussiewillow III and post-dates 'our' clock by around ten years. The clock faces are almost identical and it has the familiar 'cobweb wheel'. The 'sunflower is painted in pastel colours as opposed to our burnished copper. One striking difference is that it is a dry installation - I think Emett learned that water is quite damaging to bright metalwork, especially when chlorinated. Most Emett works are much smaller - he used to tour the country exhibiting them.
  6. Jill: I think Emett was certainly influenced by Heath Robinson. As for looking quite different now, I endeavoured to restore it to as near original as possible. For instance the frame had been 'butchered' on more than one occasion and the legs had been concreted in and cut off twice, reducing the height by a good 18" or so. I documented around 25 pieces of tubing that needed adding to restore to original stature. I liaised with a fabrication welder to get it right. It is not concreted in now (we added circular foot pads). Another attention to detail was the colour of the various glass beads in the butterflies. Each butterfly is unique. I studied old video frame by frame to document the required colours for each (I renewed every one as they had been eroded by the chlorinated water). I was even pedantic about using Imperial nuts and bolts instead of the metric ones that had crept in, even though no-one can see them. If you look at the ring of 12 water spouts in the middle, they had disappeared at some point so I recreated them, again from old video and photographs (I made the petals from plumbing fittings, cutting, shaping and filing as necessary). The mechanical drive for the cobweb wheel had also vanished many years ago, after its motor caught fire. I designed and built a new drive arrangement from scratch to keep the wheel going round. You can see now why I am dismayed if it isn't being looked after.
  7. Jonab: I don't know about elephant but the frame was white until we had it repainted it in the original 'cockpit green' (as used inside Spitfires and the like). I muse on whether Emett had any RAF contacts after the war who had squirrelled away surplus paint (he had worked for the MoD during the war as a draughtsman working on aircraft parts).
  8. Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized computer board. They've been around for a few years now. I had indeed contemplated controlling it all from a Pi and even wrote some of the software that it would need (in a popular computer language called Python). It could then be controlled over the Internet and have different music playing at different times/dates. The Pi would play MP3 files and control the starting and stopping of the various motors.
  9. During my original research I recall reading that Emett gifted the clock to the then owners of the Victoria Centre. Despite administration I suspect the centre and shops will persist, meaning that the ownership of the clock will transfer with all other assets.
  10. Sad isn't it? There is no way they will move it back. Even though I gave my time (hundreds of hours) for free they spent something like £75,000 on consultants, architect, surveyor, crane hire, electrical services and tradesmen/materials for the concrete base/GRP liner/glass surround, etc. The Gigue en Rondeau II (composed by Rameau) was the original. The alternative (some sort of wassailing) was used at Christmas. However, that was in the days when the music was on an endless loop cassette tape. All the tapes were lost/damaged (even the Gigue) and the tape deck/amplifier was defunct. It now plays (when it works) from a CD with one track in a midi hifi system (a music teacher in Birmingham played/recorded it to avoid any issue of royalties). Intu could change the music by burning another CD (needs 75 seconds duration IIRC). Pete - the Emett Engineer
  11. I see they are now trialling the efficacy of the BCG (TB) vaccine in reducing seriousness of C-19 infection (and also note that this was suggested in the Lancet in April so why the delay in progress?). Though many of us had the jab when in early teens, its protection apparently wanes as the years go by so if it proves useful, we'd need a booster (priority to be given to health care workers). I read that BCG has not been used routinely in the UK since 2005, but I wonder whether this (and other various childhood inoculations) is why young 'uns have few or no symptoms of C-19?
  12. Thank you Cliff Ton. Slight amendment to my original post: I think they only go up to X (not XII). I agree the most likely reason is for identification when moved/re-bedded. I do wonder why a mason would use Roman numerals - maybe because it only needs straight lines (easier to carve).
  13. Gotham Dunkirk Underwood Clipstone Cotgrave Nuthall Attenborough Bulcote Ravenshead Keyworth
  14. Photos and commentary about St Anns Well Road and The Wells Road https://stannswellroad.weebly.com/virtual-walk.html
  15. Cliff and Stuart, yes, that is the spot and they are the marks.