Science & Engineering
Our aim is to share knowledge, learn something new, make new friends, and enjoy ourselves. We usually meet monthly and travel to places of scientific, engineering or technological interest. The photos show some of our recent visits. It’s not necessary to have any background knowledge – we have quite a mix of members!
The leadership is split between five of us - there are over 100 members, a sure sign of its success and popularity, and new members are welcome. In 2019 we introduced a series of talks, as requested by members, which we are continuing in 2020. The leadership team welcome additional suggestions, offers of help, and offers of talks!
Please use the blue bird for general enquiries (select 'general enquiries'). For enquiries or bookings for events - use the blue bird and select the relevant event leader.
Reports and photos of previous visits/meetings can be found in the 'activities' documents under the 'Links' banner, by downloading them.
Note that the organisation's name can be clicked as a link to take you to their website (where available).
|Dates for your Diary|
|Thu Feb 27th||Visit to the Rolls Royce Heritage Centre, Bristol, BS34 6QA.|
This will be a guided visit with the chance to learn about the heritage of a major local aero engine company. The Heritage Trust is run by volunteers and maintains the aero engineering heritage of Rolls-Royce and its local predecessors. Over 50 engines are on show from the Bristol Jupiter of 1920, Cherub and Lucifer through the Mercury, Hercules and Proteus to Concorde's Olympus, the Harrier's Pegasus and the RB199. The workshop team work on restoration tasks.
The trip is limited to 16. This will be a car share trip, so if you are prepared to give a lift, or require one, please advise when booking. The visit starts at 10.15 at the No 1 gate entrance, then there will be a 10 minute walk to the exhibition. Visits last around one and a half to two hours. There is no charge for the visit but a donation of £5 is recommended and would be appreciated.
The exhibition is on a secure site and because of this there are security conditions attached to the visit:-
All visitors must have photo ID;
Photography is only allowed within the exhibition building;
Visitors names and vehicle details have to be notified in advance.
Please can I have requests to join by 15th February to give time to organise transport and fulfill the security requirements.
Please note that this visit is fully booked. To be added to the reserve list please contact John Hobson via the Blue Bird.
|Mon Mar 16th||Volunteering at the Dursley Sculpture Trail|
Vale Vision are organising volunteers to assist refurbish / repair / install new items at the Sculpture trail at Twinberrow Wood, just off the Golf Course Road in the afternoon of the 3rd Monday every month.
People helping could sign up to any of the sessions. No need to be there each session as we would complete the mini-projects within the time available at each session. We need people who are able to assist with the construction of methods to fix / repair the sculptures so general DIY skills I would say. We can supply tools and materials or people can bring their own.
Easy parking is available on both sides of the road at the entrance to the Trail. If you are willing to help, please contact the working party leader - Mike Doughty of Vale Vision via the blue bird for each session.
|Thu Mar 26th||Visit to the Javelin Park Incinerator, Javelin Park, Bath Road, Haresfield, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, GL10 3ET.|
Javelin Park Incinerator (the “correct” term is “The Gloucestershire Energy from Waste Facility”) has now become fully operational, accepting up to 190,000 tonnes of residual waste each year from Gloucestershire’s homes and Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) and produce over 116,000 megawatts hour of electricity per annum which is exported to the National Grid.
We have arranged 2-hour tours of the plant on Thursday 26th March. One in the morning and one at 1.30pm in the afternoon as each tour is limited to 20 people and we are expecting a lot of interest, so first come..... (both tours are now FULL)
Part of the visit includes a walking tour, please check that you are ok with walking at height and ascending and descending stairs? To do the walking tour you will be required to wear PPE which we will supply for you. This will be a 'car share' visit.
To be placed on a reserve list please contact Mike Hadley via the bluebird.
|Thu Apr 2nd|
TALK by Robin Stafford Allen about "Renewable Energy - without the hot air...." [Robin gave the talk on Fusion energy last year].
Renewables are providing only a few percent of the energy for the world and almost all renewable with the exception of hydroelectric dams, are “in addition” to power stations and not “instead of” power stations and so cannot be relied upon for “base-load” energy supply continuously.
The meeting will be held in the main body of the Dursley Methodist Church starting at 10.30am. The talk will last for about 1 hour including a Q & A session, and then refreshments. Please bring £2 to cover room hire and presenter travelling expenses. Please use the blue bird if you need to contact the organiser: Dave Waugh.
|Wed Apr 22nd||Visit to the John Taylor Bell Foundry, Freehold Street, Loughborough, LE11 1AR.|
This visit is to see the history in the development of the art of bell founding over the last 600yrs. It also houses the only museum dedicated to this. The complex as seen today was purpose built in 1850 where in the museum you can read about the Taylor family history and examine the workings of the unique Carter Ringing machine. You may also see casting being performed while in the works (although this is not guaranteed on the day we visit). This is rather special as it is only one of two working bell foundries left in this Country.
The Tour numbers are 10 minimum, 35 maximum. A HSE / insurance requirement is that all visitors must wear fully enclosed shoes, otherwise entry is refused. Tour starts at 1.30pm and lasts for 1.5 to 2hrs, of the works and museum. This is mostly on the flat except for the upper museum gallery. Wheel chairs can be accommodated. Admission is £10 per person.
It will take about 2.5 hours to drive to Loughborough, depending on traffic. Whether we arrange a coach will depend on numbers (Cost in the order of £15). We propose to start early enough (9.30am?) to allow for lunch at The Three Nuns pub in Loughborough, which is close by and can be pre booked for lunch. It has a varied menu. Return about 6pm.
To book a place on this visit, please contact Donald Gibson via the bluebird
|Sat May 23rd||Visit to The Met Office, Exeter, EX1 3PB.|
A visit to the Met Office Open day has been arranged for Saturday May 23rd 2020.
The group size is limited to 35 so it’s first come first served. The tour itself will start at 15:00 hours. The Met office only hold Open days on Saturdays and we have to attend an afternoon session due to our group size.
There is no charge for the tour itself. A coach will be provided with pickups in Cam and Dursley. Arrangements will be made to have lunch either on route or at the Met Office restaurant. Expected Pickup and drop off times are 11:30am and 7:30 pm respectively. More details will follow once we have final numbers.
Summary of tour.
The open day starts with a presentation about the Met Office that includes some of the history and an overview of what they do, this is followed by a tour of the facilities, including the library and a chance to look at some of the equipment (old & new) that have been used to measure the weather. The tour will finish with a presentation from one of the operational meteorologists about the work they do, finishing with the forecast for the next few days. All the way through there is an opportunity to ask all the tour guides and presenters questions.
To book a place contact Dave Waugh via the Blue bird.
|Thu Jun 25th||Visit to Hinkley Point B (HPB) nuclear power station.|
A visit has been arranged to HPB on Thursday 25th June 2020. This EDF nuclear station is an Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) and has been in operation for over 40 years producing 1000 MW power into the grid.
The 3.5 hour tour starts in the EDF Energy Visitor Centre based in Bridgwater, where there is a 30 minute talk about Hinkley Point B power station. This encompasses the background of EDF Energy as a company and the varied sources of electricity as well as a breakdown of the working sites at Hinkley Point, including the new nuclear build at HPC.
We will then spend approximately 20 minutes in the interactive exhibition area where there is a lot to see and do, before we make our way to HPB itself. Here we will visit the control room viewing gallery, the turbine hall and the pilecap viewing gallery which is situated 160ft above sea level and looks down onto the top of the two reactors.
There is no fee for the tour itself, although a contribution to their current charity (Prostate cancer) would be appreciated. It is thought that a £5 donation per head would be appropriate.
A coach will be arranged with pickups in Wooton, Dursley and Cam. Coach cost will depend on final numbers but it is expected to be in the range of £10-£15. The number of visitors is limited to 30 so it will be first come first served.
Appropriate footwear is essential and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided. There is a substantial amount of walking during the tour, and we need to use a lift to access one of the Viewing Galleries, so if anyone suffers from claustrophobia, they may prefer to use the stairway - which is 10 floors up!
The tour starts at 9:15am so there will be an early start of 7:45am with an expected return time about 14:30pm.
To book a place please contact Dave Waugh via the Blue Bird.
|Thu Nov 5th||The Science and Engineering group hold an annual members meeting in November. This is for all Science and Engineering group members. This year's meeting is at 10.30am on 5th November in Dursley Methodist Church. There will be NO CHARGE for the meeting.|
To start, there will be a talk - details to be advised nearer the time.
Following the talk there will be the usual (free) refreshments. Then we may do a review of potential events for 2021, but due to the poor attendance last year, we may omit this - we would welcome your views on this.
Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.