Andrew James


Andrew JamesSunInfo is sad to have to report the untimely death in October 2019 of an experienced, accomplished and well liked British diallist, Andrew James FRSA HonMBHI.  


Born in Somerset, Andrew learnt from his father, before he went to school, that skilled hands could, with simple tools, transform raw materials into useful and beautiful objects.

After studying both Natural Sciences and Computer Science at Cambridge, he joined the Computing Development Department of the Central Electricity Generating Board and was soon given the task of creating software for a revolutionary new meter – the precursor of today’s smart meters. He later spent 25 years as chief scientist for a meter manufacturer.


While never his career, horology always remained his true passion and from 2000 to 2016 he chaired the Wessex BHI Branch. Later he was elected to be the Master of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers. He was installed at a special ceremony at Panter-Stainers’ Hall, London, followed by a Thanksgiving Service at St James Garlickhythe Church.


Andrew combined a love of calligraphy and carved lettering with a strong interest in sundials, and with an interest in accurate assessments of the Equation of Time and, for the BSS Registrar,  an invaluable interest in resolving the several uncertainties of dial recording not least the resolution of the long standing problem of whether or not there was a dial in Woolfardisworthy in Devon. After successive searches by BSS Members over several years had (almost alternately) found the dial or reported its loss, it was Andrew who discovered that almost unbelievably to mere mortals, there are two villages in Devon called Woolfardisworthy one with a dial and one without!

The Society benefitted from yet another of Andrew’s hidden skills when he generated the then new index of Bulletin Articles. Later he won one of the Society’s prizes for sundial design and construction.


Andrew will certainly be remembered as one of those few people who left this world better than he found it.  He will be sorely missed.


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