Benmore ForesterTraining School - Met Station
Photograph courtesy of Jim Pratt shows the comprehensive little Met station at the Benmore Forestry School.
Student Ken Ellis is sitting near the Stevenson Screen which holds the maximum, minimum, wet and dry bulb thermometers. In front of Ken are weed free area where several more thermometers were located - one at bare ground level, another at about 4 inches underground and several more at various depths down to about 3 feet. Ther may also have been a grass minimum thermometer.
The post on the right with its bird protective wire is a sunshine recorder consisting of a large glass ball which focused the sun's rays on to special cards held in bronze holders below the ball. If sunny, the rays burnt a black trace through the card. There were different shaped cards held in different groves in the bronze holder for the periods before and after the equinoxes in order to catch the higher or lower elevation sun levels. Wind strength and direction was also recorded, all the readings being taken at 9.00 GMT every day.
The readings had to be entered into a special log book for submission to the Met office and the sunshine hours worked out by adding all the bits of burnt trace together on the cards and sometimes required the use of tracing paper and pencil or pins.
Students were on a rota to do various jobs for a week in the Forestry School, cleaning the common room, stoking the boiler at night, carrying the meals from the kitchen hatch to the dining room etc as well as doing the Met readings.
Picture added on 11 June 2008