The rocky horologist’s show

When it comes to time, as with so much else, accuracy is everything, but sometimes perfection is simply the point at which something just feels right. Simon Allen of the Clock Work Shop at Abbotsbury is explaining why the precision tolerances achieved by the best engineers do not necessarily make them great clockmakers. ‘If you Read More…

Friendly Society that reached around the world

This month marks the 185th anniversary of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers. Today the name is all but forgotten yet it is a landmark in the development of the trades union movement. Formed to right a vindictive wrong it ended up costing its founders almost everything. Towards the end of October 1833 the men Read More…

The Vinyl Say 021: Chris Clark

In every collection there are records that get played all the time, many of them for years, decades even. Then there are those that, while no less treasured, somehow fall by the wayside to lie in wait, ripe for rediscovery. This series chronicles some of those nuggets as they resurface from my own back pages. So, put Read More…

Heritage craftsman Terry’s wheels of feel

With swallows flying overhead, a chicken scratching at the floor and the sounds of not very much passing by outside, wheelwright Terry Jenkins is immersed in the peace of his woody world. ‘It’s not always like this,’ he says. ‘I have the lathe on or what have you and it’s noisy, but there’s no need Read More…

The Vinyl Say 020: Jalen N’Gonda

In every collection there are records that get played all the time, many of them for years, decades even. Then there are those that, while no less treasured, somehow fall by the wayside to lie in wait, ripe for rediscovery. This series chronicles some of those nuggets as they resurface from my own back pages. So, put Read More…

Art of glass

It is the best part of fifty years since a school careers master told the sixteen-year-old Jon Callan that he wasn’t really suited to the world of work. ‘He was possibly the most perceptive teacher I ever encountered,’ says Jon in the airy kitchen of the Dorchester home that a lifetime of ‘not working’ has Read More…

Beasts of burden – heavy horses in Dorset

Few creatures embody both gentleness and power like the horse – a duality that is most striking in the heavy horse. For a thousand years it has been both warhorse and workhorse, faithfully doing man’s bidding, often to the point of its own demise. Long since superseded by technology, replaced by tanks on the battlefield Read More…

Shell Bay Cafe – perfect spot for tea and sea

Skirted by soft sandy beaches and marram grass-topped dunes, not even the intrusion of the road to Studland and the queue of traffic waiting for the Sandbanks chain ferry can spoil the serenity of South Haven Point. Seen through modern eyes it is an obvious spot for a place of refreshment – a function fulfilled Read More…

Peter Noble MBE, pixel pioneer

There’s at least one in every smartphone. They’re in webcams, drones, CCTV cameras and movie cameras as well. Since the turn of the 21st century, if not before, the solid state ‘active pixel’ image sensor has become one of the world’s most ubiquitous technologies, an integral part of a global industry worth billions. And it Read More…

What if The Beatles had never formed?

The runaway success of American stars like Frank Sinatra, Johnny Ray and Elvis Presley ensured that by 1957 Britain’s teenage market for short, catchy songs delivered by handsome men was firmly established and clamouring for home grown talent. But if a 16-year-old tearaway from Liverpool called John Lennon had decided not to enlist the services Read More…