Master Martyn Wheatley on tour

The Masters 02Q21 Blog

Welcome to The Masters Blog for the second Quarter of 2021

You might think that with COVID restrictions keeping us all at home, for months on end, that there couldn’t be too much to report……….but you would be so very wrong!

To say that the last eighteen months of restrictions, have been a challenge, would be an understatement, but COVID was no match for the Scientific Instrument Makers!

Since the first lock-down started, Misha our Clerk, Karen, our Assistant Clerk, Ken, then our Master and now our Deputy Master, and myself, helped create an on-line community for all SIM members, within the first few weeks.

That virtual infrastructure, has enabled all our regular Company business to go ahead, as well as all our important Charity activities to continue successfully, and the last quarter has been no exception. We have done more than ever!

One of our objectives during COVID, was to ensure that we keep all our members informed, and so we released frequent bulletins, posted regular news items on the SIM website, and started all member mail-outs about pending events. Members took advantage of this information and got involved in so many successful SIM events on-line. We have been very busy!

Our programme of regular SIM webinars has attracted large audiences from our own membership as well as from associated organisations, such as the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, the Foundation for Science and Technology, the Institute of Measurement and Control, the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, as well as other groups. Members of these linked organisations were therefore also able to share our series of fascinating programmes.

In the last few months, we have enjoyed presentations from Ian Gilbert on his mesmerising, but rather frightening analysis of the loss of Malaysian Airways flight MH370, Robert Seaman for his detailed, and knowledgeable, live aircraft and cockpit tour, of the superb new Airbus A321 NEO and Professor Philip Thomas for his well-informed retrospective on that wretched virus, COVID.

And then I had the honour to introduce, one my own science heroes, Sir James Hough, who spoke at our prestigious 2021 Minerva Lecture, all about his life tracking down, and identifying those illusive Gravitational Waves.

Another treat, was the detailed history of Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s career, spent finding Pulsars, plus her inspiration to, and support of, women and minorities into science. This was at the joint 2021 Edwards Lecture, which SIM holds in close association with City, University of London, and the Edwards Company.

In addition to the long list above, during the last three months, our SIM team created a successful Education Trust Event for our younger members plus a SIMposium which covered some of the latest developments in science.

SIM members like to play as well. One of our most popular and fun events, was the on-line Cheese & Wine Tasting with ‘The Big Cheese’, Harry, from Love Cheese. This was a wonderful and unforgettable evening. The large audience, who were participating at home with delivered cheese and wine samples, did not want it to end, and were reluctant to leave! During the evening the audience also made it clear that they would like a follow-up occasion.

As a result of that mandate, I went on to organise and hold the subsequent Port & Cheese tasting in May. This proved to be an even bigger treat!

So, the last quarter has possibly been, one of the busiest in the calendar of The Scientific Instrument Makers, that our livery has known,

It has all been a great team effort it throughout, and as The Master, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed.

As the COVID restrictions have begun to lift, we have also now held our first face to face event in eighteen months. This was a splendid evening banquet at the lovely Haberdashers Hall with 96 people, socially distanced and following clear safe guidelines, which allowed our memorable evening to go ahead. In our finest suits and frocks we enjoyed a superb dinner and were entertained by the amazing and versatile jazz singer, Emma Smith. You will find a further report on this perfect evening, back together with our SIM friends and guests, on the SIM website.

The banquet formed part of The Masters Weekend and a on the following day, we were at Hall again for the first time this year. This made it possible for further members to meet-up and catch-up.

Before a tasty lunch, Christopher Sawyer, gave a fascinating presentation about, the successful application by WCSIM, which has resulted in our Company being awarded its Royal Charter. This is a great honour for the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers to be recognised in this way. Thank you to Christopher and Jane Sawyer for organising, as well as funding this long and detailed programme on our behalf.

Another part of the day was a detailed history walk around Southwark and along The Thames by myself, bringing to life the background of the area around our Hall. Southwark, has a very rich history, which stretches back to the Romans, but which has seen a complete transformation in the last forty years, into the vibrant community which it is today.

Let us hope that the restrictions continue to be eased, and that we all get to see one another more often, at further SIM gatherings. I hope you have enjoyed the last quarter as much as I have? I assure you, that we are already working on many more SIM activities for the next few months ahead, so see you soon!

Stay safe!

Thank you and regards, Martyn

Martyn Wheatley – The Master, WCSIM