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  • BORE, King of the Northpole

    BORE, King of the Northpole, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

    This document was issued to Warrant Officer W Papworth on November 5th 1945. The full text of the document reads-

    “ALL MANKIND ** WHEREVER YE MAY BE,
    KNOW YE MEN THAT:

    We BORE, King of the Northpole and
    The Land of the Midnight Sun – Do hereby declare that:

    Warrant Officer Papworth. W.

    did in this year 1945 with Our permission cross the Souther Boundary of Our
    Realm – THE ARCTIC CIRCLE – in latitude 66° – 33 N for the purpose of
    visiting Us and Our Queen Aurora Borealis and to chase the wicked Huns from
    Our Lands.

    By virtue whereof, We Bore, call upon all our subjects – Laps, Eskimoes,
    Polar Bears, Blondes, Reindeer, Sea Lions, Whales and other Creatures of the
    Frigid North, to show him due deference and respect.

    Disobey under pain of Our Royal displeasure.
    Signed This Day 5th Nov 1945
    on Our Royal Iceberg.

    BORE

    [There’s a signature which has sadly faded]
    Comd. of the Royal
    Arctic Frontier Guard.”

    The certificate has been framed to be displayed (the hook is actually and old ring pull araldited to the back) and must have hung in some proud veteran’s home for many years before I found it in amongst an auction lot along with copies of The Arctic Times- the most Northerly English language newspaper in the world. It’s not a grand official document of the war, but tells us something about the humour of ordinary soldiers sent to serve in far flung corners of the world.

    This and other cool stuff can be found in the Spinneyworld shop.


  • Is the plural of stylus styli or styluses?



    Is the plural of stylus styli or styluses?, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

    I use styli when I’m writing about them, but still find myself saying styluses when talking about them. I ought to settle on a word, I have got over 200 of them, after all.

    Harry and I have taken the next logical step with our bike recycling hobby cum business. We are now Handi bikes and we have a small business unit to operate out of. We also have an online shop at Spinneyworld.com. Spinneyworld has existed in other guises over the years. This one is a proper shop where the more interesting stuff Harry and I find whilst wombling.

    Stuff such as hundreds of vintage styli. The majority of them are from Goldring, but this box is full of ones from a company called Tonar. I’m photographing them and adding them slowly so, if you have an old gramophone by the likes of Garrard, Sonotone or Acos then bookmark Spinneyworld’s styli page and keep coming back.


  • Wombling- Field Clinometer Mark III

    (Wombling shall be an irregular series of posts about interesting stuff members of Team Spinneyhead find which, as the Wimbledon commoners would have it “the everyday folks leave behind”.)

    Field Clinometer Mark III

    This interesting piece of kit is a Field Clinometer Mark III. Harry found it at the tip whilst scouting for bikes and bike parts. Research (primarily here and here) revealed that it was a device used in the aiming of artillery pieces.

    Field Clinometer Mark III

    The clinometer was placed on the barrel as it was elevated and the swing arm used to measure the angle. The arm can be adjusted by degrees. The sprung shoe still works well- pull it back to disengage the teeth then move the arm into position.

    Field Clinometer Mark III

    For greater accuracy the arm has a slight bow so the spirit level can be slid along it to get measurements at the minutes level.

    Field Clinometer Mark III

    Sadly the spirit level itself has been smashed. Otherwise the clinometer would still work almost as well as when it came out of the factory over a century ago.

    Field Clinometer Mark III

    The device was built in the Soho M&S Instrument Works in 1906 and was numbered 869. This is one of those “What tales it could tell” objects. Unfortunately neither Harry nor I have access to any artillery, so the clinometer’s going on eBay to find a good home. (Note The auction has now ended and the clinometer shall be making its way to a new home soon.