Grandfather’s Time

This is another gem from Cecil Storr’s Small Talk at Wreyland. The more I read this book the more I wish I could have met Cecil. He is so wise and his sense of humour so dry:

“Time seemed to be of very little value when I first knew the place. After the railway had been made (1866) my grandfather took his time from the station clock- he could see the hands with his big telescope, looking over from a stile hear here.Till then he took it from the sun-dial: he writes to my father 16 January 1853, ‘My watch has taken to lose lately: unfortunately the sun does not give me an opportunity to see about the time… I shall depend on my own time as soon ass the sun will give it to me.’ Though the sun gave him his time, he allowed for the equation; but many of the people here ignored the difference between mean time and solar time. The equation varies from 14 minutes one way to 16 minutes the other and a variation of only half an hour was hardly worth considering in a sleepy place like this. He writes on 14 January 1851, ‘My watch kept stopping and brought me late to meals, and I had the frowns of the folks: so returned to the old one, which is sure to bring me home in time, as it gains a half-hour in a day.”


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