West Midlands autumn meeting

Saturday 16th September 2017

By Jeremy Poole

The autumn joint meeting of the Quekett and the Postal Microscopical Society was held at the Haling Dene Centre in Penkridge, Staffordshire, and followed the familiar format of exhibits and sales tables in the morning and some lectures after lunch.


Les Franchi used his Watson Service Mark I to show a diatom arrangement, and also brought a tray of slides by makers including Darlaston.

Les FranchiLes Franchi

Watson Service microscopeWatson Service microscope

Les Franchi’s displayLes Franchi’s display [by Joan Bingley]

Colin Lamb was offering a Swift petrological microscope for sale, and showed a dual-arm LED illuminator that used lamps intended for motorcycle number plates.

Colin LambColin Lamb (centre) with his exhibit [by Joan Bingley]

Dual-arm LED illuminatorDual-arm LED illuminator

Mo Vaughan showed a “toy microscope” from salvage that provided some sort of image.

John Fletcher demonstrated Saylor’s method of contrast enhancement, set up on an antique brass microscope.

John FletcherJohn Fletcher [by Joan Bingley]

Brass microscopeBrass microscope

Saylor’s method of contrast enhancementSaylor’s method of contrast enhancement

Colin Kirk showed silicone rubber modelling tools useful for holding specimens down (for example while mountant sets) without damage.

Silicone rubber modelling toolsSilicone rubber modelling tools


Lawrence Hartley had some used books for sale.

Paul Wheatley was offering some interesting microscopes, including an inclined Swift petrological, an Olympus KHC, a Wild M11 and a Vickers stereomicroscope with boom stand and illuminator. He was also selling a few accessories.

Paul Wheatley’s used microscopes for salePaul Wheatley’s used microscopes for sale

Some plastic laboratory ware was on offer at good prices

Plastic laboratory warePlastic laboratory ware

Mike Samworth was selling slides and other things, including a Nikon Alphaphot.

Steve Gill was still trying to sell some Watson Service stands!

John Millham has been refurbishing microscopes again, and his offerings included an Olympus CK inverted, a trinocular Olympus BH-2, a trinocular Zeiss Standard, a Zeiss Axioskop and 2 Leitz binoculars.

John Millham’s used microscopes for saleJohn Millham’s used microscopes for sale

Joan Bingley brought the QMC shop in a box and was also selling effects from deceased Quekett members.

Geoff Mould and John Ward were selling a few items including books, and Mike Woof was selling a few stands.


After lunch, Quekett President Joan Bingley announced that Steve Gill had been elected to honorary membership of the Club and presented him with his certificate.

Steve GillSteve Gill

Joan Bingley gave a talk on “The Great American Eclipse August 21st 2017”, describing her trip that included the chance to view this.

Joan Bingley with a globeJoan Bingley with a globe

John Birds gave a talk on “A Tale of Three Characters”, interesting episodes from his life working at a certain stately home.

Jeremy Poole gave a talk on marine diatoms and showed scanning electron micrographs of specimens provided by Klaus Kemp.

Finally, the winner of the photo competition was announced: Les Franchi.


Our thanks to Mike Woof for organising another successful meeting.

Report and photographs by Jeremy Poole

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