Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Caird Library

 Finally at the end of the day we visited the library and got to look at illustrations of some of Cloudesley Shovell's victories and the log book from one of the surviving ships from the night of his death. The log book mentioned some of the harsh conditions the sailors faced.

One of the surviving ship's logs from the fatal night
of October 22nd, 1707
Photographing a picture to be featured in the film

We also got to see the consolatory letter sent by the Reverend at St Paulinus Church, Crayford to Lady Shovell in her time of grief. It was this national tragedy of the loss of her husband that saw the Longitude act being put in place to prevent anything like this happening again.

An illustration of the defeat of the French fleet by Sir Cloudesley Shovell

Wednesday, 30 July 2014


When they finished filming Harrison's clocks they filmed the interview with Dr Richard Dunn, a curator of the Ships, Clocks and Stars exhibition, who provided us with a lot of great answers. We also found out that at the time France had been in the process of attempting to calculate Longitude using the stars and moon. If Britain had not found how to work out Longitude, would have France eventually found the solution through their method?

After that they interviewed John Harrison who spoke about how Captain Cook took the K1 (a copy of the H4) on board and navigated successfully aided by this pocket watch from the tropics to the Antarctic. 

John Harrison is sat in front of the Queens's House for filming with
Greenwich Royal Observatory in the background

Harrison also spoke about the poor treatment of himself on behalf of the board of Longitude as he never received his prize money, even after meeting their requirements for the prize. It was only after his son appealing to King George III that he finally received part of what was rightfully his.

National Maritime Museum

We got to the museum this morning and the two film crews set up their equipment. They recorded John Harrison talking about his three clocks which are displayed in the cabinet named H1, H2 and H3. We also got the opportunity to see them wound up before the exhibition was open to public viewing. Harrison explained how his first clock took five years to make and that it was not until he reached the forth development of his timekeeper that he finally succeeded in making it more accurate. 

The timekeeper that bought the solution to Lonigitude - the H4

H1, H2 and H3: Harrison's first three creations

Harrison talking in front of his timekeepers
Harrison's clocks are wound up for the day ahead

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The New Longitude Prize

The groups took turns recording each other asking what they wanted the new Longitude prize (worth £10 million) to be for and why. They were given a list and had to choose from:
  • Flight - How can we fly without damaging the environment?
  • Food - How can we ensure everyone has nutritious sustainable food?
  • Antibiotics - How can we prevent the rise of resistance to antibiotics?
  • Paralysis - How can we restore movement to those with paralysis?
  • Water - How can we ensure everyone has access to safe and clean water?
  • Dementia - How can we help people with dementia to live independently for longer?

Filming Outside the Queen's House

The group decided where they wanted to film their interview
 with John Harrison and set up the cameras

Checking the white balance

When interviewing John Harrison we discovered that when he came to London for the first time he met the Astronomer Royal Halley. He was very supportive of Harrison's invention and solution for the Longitude prize. We also learnt that despite creating such an advanced device, that would seem could have only be made by a rich scholar or scientist at the time, Harrison had actually started out his career merely a carpenter.
Harrison did not get on with the new Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne who disregarded his work and in addition, took the H4 which greatly angered him.

After changing locations we were told by Harrison that even the greatest scientist at the time, Isaac Newton, did not believe that the clock would be the solution to finding Longitude. Newton had a stronger belief in the astronomers and thought that calculating Longitude from the stars and moon would more likely be the solution to their problems. 

Longitude Punk'd Exhibition

Matt's group discuss their plan of action for 
filming Lady Shovell in the Longitude Punk'd exhibition

Lady Shovell speaks about her grief due to her husband's death. She read from the consolatory letter that was sent to her by Reverend Gilbert Crockatt of St Paulinus Church in Crayford. We learnt that he was good friends with her husband which was why he had sent her this letter. He had said in the letter; 'the shortest lines are usually the straightest' and 'Nor is a circle less perfect for being small'. She explained that these lines gave her hope that one day lives will no longer be lost at sea, and that sailors will be able to sail the shortest, safest routes because they will finally have awareness of their Longitude. 

Lady Shovell reacted to the relabelling of her husband's portrait and was shocked, she wondered why her husband was remembered like this when he had achieved so much in his lifetime. A line of the caption read "Cloudesley Shovell, renowned collector of sticks."

Later on in the day they interviewed Dr Finch Boyer, curator of the exhibition who explained that the artist responsible for the caption had found Shovell's name so ridiculous that they couldn't take him seriously, thus influencing them when creating this humorous caption.

The other group filmed John Harrison who explained his first pendulum clock H1 which is replicated in the exhibition also featuring a comical label. He spoke about how, even after creating the bimetallic strip that compensated for heat changes, his invention still didn't meet the requirements of the Board of Longitude.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich - Meridian line

The girls from En Pointe dance group arrived in their outfits ready to perform their Horn pipe dance on the Greenwich meridian line.

    Stood on the Meridian line: the line that separates the Eastern
and Western hemisphere

    Final preparations as the girls rehearse their routine
 ready to be filmed

The rest of the group set up the cameras using the skills they have learned and filmed the dance routine.