What’s new?

2017 Programmes of other UK microscopical societies

Posted 10th January 2017

The Quekett is not the only amateur-friendly microscopical society in the United Kingdom, and here are links to the 2017 programmes of the others:

The Reading Microscopical Society does not seem to have a website.

Nikon Small World in Motion 2016 results

Posted 14th December 2016

The winners of the 2016 Nikon Small World in Motion competition have been announced, and 3rd Place went to Quekett member Wim van Egmond.

The fungus Aspergillus niger growing fruiting bodies (10×) [by Wim van Egmond]

Wim also received an Honorable Mention.

Micrasterias rotata cell division (160×) [by Wim van Egmond]

Photos of Quekett slides in the RCS collection

Posted 6th December 2016

The Royal College of Surgeons has more than 12,000 slides by John Thomas Quekett in its collection, and the Club is contributing to a project to catalogue, conserve and photograph them. Over 400 slides have been photographed so far, and a few thousand more will be photographed in 2017.

You can see the photos by searching the SurgiCat database:

Person/institution: Quekett
Object name: microscope slide
Only records with images: click so that a tick appears

This picture shows how the Advanced Search page should look:

SurgiCat Advanced search for Quekett slidesSurgiCat Advanced search for Quekett slides

2017 Programme of events

Posted 15th November 2016

The Club’s 2017 programme is now available on the website, with dates and details of gossip meetings, lectures, workshops, excursions, the annual exhibition, the sales event, outreach events, and open events run by other clubs and societies.

The printed programme will be posted to all members as usual.

Nikon Small World 2016 results

Posted 19th October 2016

The results of the 2016 Nikon Small World competition have been announced. Quekett members among the winners and those who received Honorable Mentions or Images of Distinction include Mike Crutchley and Wim van Egmond.

Trumpet animalcule containing endosymbionts, by Wim van EgmondTrumpet animalcule (Stentor amethystinus Leidy) containing endosymbionts (160×) [by Wim van Egmond]

Pilobolus crystallinus, by Mike CrutchleyPilobolus crystallinus (F. H. Wigg.) Tode on cow dung (30×) [by Mike Crutchley]

QuekettMicro group on Facebook

Posted Monday 17th October 2016

The Quekett page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/quekett) is used mainly for brief reports of Club events. It is not possible to change this page to a group where any member can post.

We now have a group called QuekettMicro on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/QuekettMicro) where Club members can post anything of interest to other members. You need to be signed up to Facebook, then go to the group page and click “Join group”.

The group is for Quekett members (and prospective members) to share their experiences and ask for help, so it depends on your contributions. Tell us about an interesting specimen, or a nice new piece of equipment, or an interesting location, or ask for help with using equipment, or improving your photographs. With well over 400 members, we have lots of expertise in the Club, so please sign up and help to make the group a success.

QuekettMicro group on FacebookQuekettMicro group on Facebook

Harold Hillman R.I.P.

Posted Friday 23rd September 2016

We are sad to report the death of Harold Hillman, who passed away on 5th August 2016. You can read his obituary in the Daily Telegraph:

Blog on the J. T. Quekett slides in the RCS collection

Posted Thursday 11th August 2016

Hannah Cornish, Collections Assistant at the Royal College of Surgeons, has written a blog on the College’s collection of 12,000 slides made by John Thomas Quekett:

“Understanding the Light Microscope” by Peter Evennett

Posted Wednesday 3rd August 2016

Clear 78½ minutes in your busy life and watch the video “Understanding the Light Microscope” by Quekett member Peter Evennett on YouTube:

Yeast emerges as hidden third partner in lichen symbiosis

Posted Friday 22nd July 2016

Since 1867, scientists have recognized the fundamental partnership that produces lichens: a fungus joins with an alga or cyanobacterium in a relationship that benefits both individuals. In a study (T. Spribille et al.: Basidiomycete yeasts in the cortex of ascomycete macrolichens. Science, 2016, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf8287) led by the University of Montana and co-authored by Purdue mycologist M. Catherine Aime, researchers show that lichens in 52 genera across six continents also contain basidiomycete yeasts, single-celled fungi that likely produce chemicals that help lichens ward off predators and repel microbes.

The finding could explain why many genetically-similar lichens present wildly different physical features and why scientists have been unable to synthesize lichens in the laboratory, even when combining species that partner successfully in nature.

Charles Thomas Hudson’s transparencies

Posted Wednesday 27th April 2016

Thank you to David Walker for letting us know about this collection of 58 large transparencies by Charles Thomas Hudson, a Victorian authority on rotifers.

Charles Thomas Watson rotifer transparency

The Quekett Microscopical Club 1865–2015

Posted Friday 1st April 2016

Brian Bracegirdle’s last book, completed shortly before his death, is now available.

The Quekett Microscopical Club 1865–2015

The normal price is £20 plus postage (£2.85 in the UK), with a discount available for members (please provide your membership number).

Bryan Tabor’s photo album

Posted Wednesday 16th March 2016

Dr Bryan Tabor’s well-deserved election as an Honorary Member of the Quekett was announced at the Annual General Meeting yesterday. Bryan was President of the Club from 2000 to 2003 and served in a number of other roles on the Committee. His latest contribution to the Club is a donation of an album containing over 400 colour prints taken at events from 1993 to 2001. The album was on display at the 2015 Annual Exhibition of Microscopy, and most of the prints have now been scanned and added to the archive of meeting reports in the Members’ Area of the website. The photos form the basis of 23 new reports, and additions to 7 existing ones.

Bryan Tabor and Jacky McPhersonBryan Tabor and Jacky McPherson examining Bryan’s photo album

Bryan Tabor’s photo albumSome of the photographs in Bryan’s album, which he has donated to the Club

Venue for meetings in the Natural History Museum

Posted Monday 7th March 2016

Unfortunately the Dorothea Bate Room is again required for another purpose for the foreseeable future, and we are therefore moving all events shown in the 2016 Programme as being in the Dorothea Bate Room into the same room as we used last year. This is the one below the Flett Theatre, and was known as the Demonstration Room. It has been converted into a general meeting room, and is now designated as Room PA 135. Quekett events planned for other locations in the NHM are not affected.

This takes immediate effect, and our first meeting in PA 135 will be the AGM on Tuesday 15th March.

Access to PA 135 is now via the NHM Staff Entrance. This is on Exhibition Road, a few metres south of the NHM entrance to the Earth Galleries. It has a glass door and is signed “John Smith Flett Theatre”. Security staff have been advised to expect us, but it would be helpful if you carried your QMC membership card. When possible, we will arrange for a QMC member to be inside this entrance for 30 minutes before meetings to assist with entry, and with use of the lift for those requiring it.

If you are in the main Museum before a meeting, it will be necessary to leave via the Exhibition Road exit, turn right, and re-enter via the Staff Entrance a few metres along.

Leeuwenhoek’s green streaks

Posted Thursday 18th February 2016

Club member Wim van Egmond has written an article on the identity of the green streaks observed in 1674 by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek in water from the Berkelse Meer, concluding that they were not Spirogyra but the cyanobacterium Dolichospermum.

Another new website

Posted Monday 15th February 2016

In August 2015 we were informed by Cubik Solutions that the annual contract for our website would not be renewed and that our website would cease to exist at the end of March 2016 unless we paid them a lot of money to design a new site and copy the content. Apparently, the website that was launched in April 2013 was dependent on obsolete technology with no migration path to any other system. We had lost confidence in Cubik so we decided to view this as an opportunity to improve the website, and after discussions with several web designers we accepted a quotation from Jellybean Creative Solutions in October for a website using WordPress. A few days later, with no warning, Cubik went into liquidation, but fortunately they did not own the web servers and one of their customers paid the bill to keep the servers running while they arranged their new website. This arrangement gave us time to make copies of everything on the Quekett website, which kept running until 21st December.

Loading over 550 pages and over 8000 images into WordPress and making sure that the new website works has kept the Club’s webmaster rather busy, and we didn’t manage to launch the new site before the old one was turned off, so for a few weeks we had a holding page with just contact details and the 2016 programme.

Now we have a new website, looking similar to the old one but with some new and improved features, including:

  • responsive design that works much better on small screens such as tablets and smart phones
  • less clutter at the top and bottom of pages
  • flexible home-page design that can feature any part of the website
  • clickable text and images on the home page
  • Members’ area that is always visible in menus
  • site search and site map that include the Members’ area
  • image galleries with slide shows of large images
  • icons linking to our Facebook and Twitter pages
  • faster loading of pages, from a content delivery network
  • backups under our control and separate from the web hosting company

We think the website is complete and functioning properly, but if you have any problems please contact the Webmaster.

Dr Brian Bracegirdle R.I.P.

Posted 19th December 2015

It is with deep sadness that we report the death of Dr Brian Bracegirdle, who died peacefully in hospital on Wednesday 16th December 2015, aged 82.

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