What’s new?

The Thames 21 Project at Chinbrook Meadows

Posted 18th August 2022

The Friends of Chinbrook Meadows (south-east London, between Grove Park and Sundridge Park Golf Course) have invited Club members to join them for outreach sessions in pond-dipping, insect forays and much more.

Just turn up or, if you’re feeling more enthusiastic, volunteer to run a table showing off our microscopic wonders to boys and girls of all ages.

More info – please contact Pam Hamer via the form below.

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Derek Stevens R.I.P.

Posted 5th July 2022

We are sad to announce that Derek Stevens has died at the age of 89.  He was based in Dorset and was one of the founders of the local meetings at Langton Matravers which many of us enjoyed.  He was at the last meeting in April this year chatting with us and still interested in all the exhibits.  Members may remember his detailed research on the ‘Little Sea’ at Studland reported in the Club Journal.  His funeral was on the 14th July at Lytchett Matravers Crematorium.

derek Stevens at Langton Matravers
Derek Stevens with Jacky McPherson and Pam Hamer at the Langton Matravers, April 2021


Steve Gill’s Second Presidential Address

Posted 3rd June 2022

Steve Gill gave his second Presidential Address: “William West of Leeds and Bradford – Not As Parochial As Would First Appear” at the Natural History Museum on Tuesday 10th May.  Members can see a video here.

Klaus Kemp R.I.P.

Posted 29th May 2022

We are sad to announce that Klaus Kemp passed away in hospital on Saturday 28th May 2022. He will be remembered for his amazing arrangements of diatoms and butterfly scales and for his extensive knowledge of diatoms. He was an Honorary Member of the Quekett, and he was a regular exhibitor at Langton Matravers and Reading for many years.

Klaus Kemp montage

South Coast Spring Meeting

Posted 2nd May 2022

The joint meeting with Postal Microscopical Society was held April 23rd.  Report and more pictures.

Mike Woof R.I.P.

Posted 29th April 2022
The Club is sad to announce the passing of Mike Woof on Easter Sunday.  Mike was known to many of us and will be greatly missed, especially by those that attended the Reading and Penkridge meetings which he organised.  A fuller obituary will be found in the Quekett Journal of Microscopy in due course.

Nikon Small World 2021 results

Posted 14th September 2021
The winners of the 2021 Nikon Small World competition have been announced, and an image by Quekett member Jan van IJken is in 9th place:

Daphnia carrying embryos and peritrichsWater flea (Daphnia), carrying embryos and peritrichs (darkfield, image stacking, 10× objective)

You can see all of the winners, Honorable Mentions and Images of Distinction here:


Nikon 2021 Small World in Motion results

Posted 17th August 2021

The winners of the Nikon 2021 Small World in Motion competition have been announced, and Quekett member Wim van Egmond received an Honorable Mention:

Mudflat diatomsMudflat diatoms

  • Watch the video: Mudflat diatoms
    (Brightfield, darkfield, differential interference contrast (DIC), reflected Light, 5x, 16x, 25x objectives) [by Wim van Egmond]


RMS Scientific Imaging Competition

Posted Friday 6th August 2021

Quekett members did well in this competition at the Microscience Microscopy Congress 2021 held last month. Mike Gibson won a Joint 1st Prize, and Jeremy Poole and Spike Walker were shortlisted.

Mike Gibson was awarded Joint 1st Prize in the Light Microscopy Physical Sciences category for his photomicrograph of borax crystals:

Borax crystalsBorax crystals (polarised light, Wild M20 microscope, ×19 objective)

Jeremy Poole was shortlisted in the Electron Microscopy Life Sciences category  for his image of a morpho butterfly wing scale. The parallel ribs of the underside of this butterfly wing resemble rails, and the central feature reminds me of points. This was the only occurrence of the ribs converging on the whole wing scale. TESCAN MIRA 4 SEM using in-beam secondary detector. Sputter coated in gold/palladium with a Quorum Q150R S.

Morpho butterfly wing scaleMorpho butterfly wing scale

Spike Walker was shortlisted in the Light Microscopy Physical Sciences category for his image of L-ascorbic acid crystals. L-Ascorbic acid crystals from aqueous solution. Breathing on the preparation at intervals produced bands of faster growing, hence finer, crystals. A combination of Rheinberg illumination and crossed polars rendered the fast and slow growing crystals in different colours. Zeiss Ultraphot 3 microscope, ×4/NA 0.16 objective.

L-Ascorbic acid crystalsL-Ascorbic acid crystals


Barry Ellam R.I.P.

Posted Wednesday 23rd June 2021
We are sad to announce that Barry Ellam passed away on Monday 22nd June 2021 from heart failure. He was 85. Barry was an Honorary Member of the Quekett, and many members will remember him for his willingness to share his encyclopaedic knowledge of microscopy and his cakes.

Barry Ellam montageBarry Ellam


World Microscope DayWorld Microscope Day 2021

Posted 17th March 2021

On 13th April 1625, Galileo’s friend Giovanni Faber wrote a letter to Prince Federico Angelo Cesi about a fascinating tool that could magnify small items. He referred to it as the “microscope”, a word derived from the Ancient Greek μικρός ( mikrós, “small”) + σκοπέω (skopéō, “I look at”). This was the first time that the word “microscope” was used. That same year, Cesi and scientist Francesco Stelluti published their work Apiarium. This body of work included their microscopic observations of three bees. It was the first published work that depicted microscopic observations of biological structures.

Tuesday 13th April 2021 – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. – Zoom
M. C. Cooke Lecture
“The marvellous Mister Towne”, by Bill Edwards (Joseph Towne made the wonderful anatomical and dermatological wax models in the Gordon Museum of Pathology).
This meeting will be held online using Zoom. Joining instructions will be e-mailed to Quekett and NYMC members in advance.

Tom Jones’ microscopy outreach

Posted 13th March 2021

Quekett member Tom Jones has produced a short video to explain the history of his microscopy outreach project, Explore Microscopy, the reasons for its existence, and show some of the experiences K-12 student visitors have had.

Click the arrow in the middle to start the video

Kit Brownlee R.I.P.

Posted 4th March 2021

We are sad to announce that Kit Brownlee passed away from cancer on Thursday 4th March 2021 in a hospice. Kit was an Honorary Member of the Quekett and was well known to many members for her interesting talks and exhibits, her wide knowledge of microscopy and her willingness to help others.

Kit BrownleeKit Brownlee

John Gustav DellyJohn Gustav Delly – Honorary Member

Posted 8th December 2020

It is with great pleasure that we announce that on 13th November 2020 John Gustav Delly was made an Honorary Member of the QMC. Members might like to read the article written by John on his favourite microscopy books, which first appeared in the Journal.

Nikon Small World 2020 results

Posted 14th October 2020

The winners of the 2020 Nikon Small World competition have been announced, and they include 5 photomicrographs by Quekett members and their spouses.

Immature water boatmanAnne Algar (17th Place): Ventral view of an immature water boatman (darkfield, image stacking, polarized light, 4× objective)

Phantom midge larvaChris Algar (Honorable Mention): Phantom midge larva (darkfield, image stacking, polarized light, 4× objective)

Damselfly nymphChris Algar (Image of Distinction): Damselfly nymph (darkfield, image stacking, polarized light, 4× objective)

Bindweed leaf epidermisMike Gibson (Image of Distinction): Leaf of bindweed showing part of the epidermal surface structure including stomata (Rheinberg illumination with circular oblique illumination, 20× objective)

Cyanobacteria (Dolichospermum)Wim van Egmond (Image of Distinction): Cyanobacteria (Dolichospermum) (brightfield illumination, 10× objective)

Nikon Small World in Motion 2020 results

Posted 16th September 2020

The winners of the 2020 Nikon Small World in Motion competition have been announced, and Quekett member Wim van Egmond received an Honorable Mention:

Cytoplasmic streaming in slime mold, darkfield illumination, 10x objective [by Wim van Egmond]

Joan Bingley and Carel Sartory – Honorary Members

Posted 30th June 2020

We are pleased to announce that Carel Sartory and Joan Bingley have both been recognised with Honorary Membership of the Club. Carel and Joan have worked in various Committee roles including as Presidents and we are delighted to recognise their contribution.

Quekett website now uses HTTPS

Posted 23rd June 2020

The Quekett website now uses HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) so that any passwords that you enter and any messages that you send are transmitted securely. You can check that the website is secure by looking for a closed padlock icon in the address bar of your web browser.

Closed padlock icon in Google Chrome browserClosed padlock icon in Google Chrome browser

Visitors to the website do not need to do anything different. If you type an http address, or click an http link, you will automatically be taken to the corresponding https page. The supplementary parts of the website (archives.quekett.org, caffyn.quekett.org and littleimp.quekett.org) have also been updated to HTTPS.

Pages on the Quekett website should now load faster, because web browsers use the faster HTTP/2 network protocol with HTTPS websites. We already use gzip compression and a content delivery network to improve access to our website.

Dennis Fullwood R.I.P.

Posted 9th May 2020

Dennis Fullwood, who has served on the Committee in a variety of roles and was known to many Quekett members for organising meetings, passed away from bronchopneumonia at home on Saturday 2nd May 2020. He was 76.

Dennis FullwoodDennis Fullwood at a gossip meeting in 2019

COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and Club meetings

Posted 1st May 2020

This message is also being sent by e-mail to as many members as possible.

The effects of Covid-19 and the resulting restrictions implemented by the government have obviously curtailed many of the microscopy events that were planned for this year, not only by Quekett but by many other organisations. Whilst we understand that microscopy may not be the main concern for many people at this time, we are aware that for others meetings, lectures and excursions provide a valuable service and often friendships. We are also aware that even when the current restrictions are lifted there may be members who wish to continue to isolate for some time. To this end the Quekett Committee is currently looking at software systems to see if any of them would provide a suitable way for our members to retain some of our planned or alternative events. As well as offering the opportunity for members who are housebound or overseas to take part in events. Trials are taking place to see which platforms are most suitable and we will report back to the membership as soon as possible. The quickest way for us to do this is by using the social media platforms available to us, and as such we would ask that you check one of these regularly to get the most up to date information on our plans.

Facebook: QuekettMicro, Twitter: @QuekettMicro

We are also conscious that members may forget to update their membership account with changes of email address. If you are in contact with other members we would ask you to please check to see if they have received this message. Any members not receiving this message should log into their account at the website https://my.quekett.org to ensure their details are up to date. You can also contact Committee members via the Quekett website.

In the meantime we hope you are all keeping safe and well and look forward to a time when we can all meet again.

The Committee of the Quekett Microscopical Club

Posted 6th March 2020

Due to the current COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, we will post any changes re dates and locations of Quekett events on the website and our social media accounts, so please consult these before travelling to events.

In these extraordinary times and with a view to the safety of you all, we have taken the decision to keep all meetings under review. This is in the light of the current events relating to the COVID-19 coronavirus scenario in the UK.

Any decisions to postpone or re-schedule may be contentious. However, we trust you will understand and appreciate our concerns. These are extraordinary times and we may have to take extraordinary decisions in response to these. We realise that this makes scheduling of trips awkward and complicated, but your continued health and welfare is our prime concern.

Eric Hollowday R.I.P.

Posted 25th December 2019

Eric Hollowday, known to many Quekett members for his expertise in rotifers, passed away at 2 a.m. on Tuesday 24th December 2019 at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. He was 92 years of age. His nephew Derek Hollowday will make all necessary arrangements. In accordance with Eric’s wishes, there will not be a funeral.

Many of us will remember his presentation at the Club’s 150th anniversary meeting:

Eric Hollowday “More than seventy years a Queketteer (1944 to 2015)”

Click the arrow to start the video; click the symbol to the left of “vimeo” for a larger version

Dennis Fullwood – Honorary Member

Posted 10th December 2019

Congratulations to Dennis Fullwood on being elected an Honorary Member of the Quekett Microscopical Club.

Phil Greaves presented Dennis with his certificate at the meeting on Saturday 7th December 2019.

Dennis Fullwood receiving his Honorary Membership certificateDennis Fullwood receiving his Honorary Membership certificate

Nikon Small World 2019 results

Posted 21st October 2019

The winners of the 2019 Nikon Small World competition have been announced, and Quekett member Jan van IJken has received an Honorable Mention:

Licmophora flabellata (colonial diatoms)Licmophora flabellata (colonial diatoms, 20× objective, darkfield, focus stacking)

MiSAC 50th Anniversary articles

Posted 19th July 2019

As part of our efforts to promote microscopy, the Quekett Microscopical Club sponsors MiSAC (Microbiology in Schools Advisory Committee), which promotes the teaching of microbiology in schools and colleges.

To celebrate their 50th anniversary, MiSAC invited leading scientists to contribute articles for their website on a wide range of microorganisms and their activities, including 21st century cutting-edge research. The result is 33 articles by well-known scientists covering the following topics: Bacteria, Biotechnology/commerce, Environment, Food, Fungi, Health, Microscopy, Protists, Science methods and Viruses. You can read the articles here:

Christmas slides in the Earland Collection

Posted 20th December 2018

A donation by the Quekett Microscopical Club has enabled the Natural History Museum to purchase the Arthur Earland collection of foram slides, and Giles Miller blogged about some Christmas slides in the collection:

Arthur Earland foraminiferal Christmas card slide sent to Edward Heron-Allen in 1921Arthur Earland foraminiferal Christmas card slide sent to Edward Heron-Allen in 1921

Quekett on eBay

Posted 23rd May 2018

The Club now has an eBay account (quemicrosco-0).

We are starting by selling the USB drives of the Journal (1868–2012). Search for
quekett journal
on eBay, and you will see our USB drive (plus lots of expensive reprints and back numbers that are NOT sold by the Quekett).

We hope to start selling books on eBay in the near future.

2018 Royal Microscopical Society calendar

Posted 10th January 2018

Photographs by three Quekett members are included in the 2018 RMS calendar; not bad for a bunch of amateurs!

January is a geometric microengraving on a slide by Washington Teasdale (by Howard Lynk), May is a stained teak section on a slide by Ernie Ives (by Alan Wood), and July is an SEM of the eyes of Salticus scenicus (a jumping spider) (by Jeremy Poole).

Geometric microengraving on a slide by Washington TeasdaleGeometric microengraving on a slide by Washington Teasdale [by Howard Lynk]

Head of Salticus scenicusSEM of head of Salticus scenicus (Clerck) [by Jeremy Poole]

Wood from teak (Tectona grandis)Tangential section of wood from teak (Tectona grandis L.f.), stained with safranin, slide by Ernie Ives, 10× objective [by Alan Wood]

Steve Gill elected to Honorary Membership

Posted 7th October 2017

Steve Gill has been elected an Honorary Member of the Quekett Microscopical Club in recognition of (a) his considerable contributions to amateur microscopy, its history and development, and his support of local meetings; (b) his assistance over many years with historical and genealogical research to many authors; and (c) his support to the Club in the time and effort he has freely given to develop the search engine that has enabled the Club to issue an archive of its Journal on a USB flash drive.

Quekett President Joan Bingley presented Steve with his certificate at the Penkridge meeting on 16th September.

Steve GillSteve Gill

Quekett Journal of Microscopy on USB flash drive

Posted 19th July 2017

Stocks of the DVDs containing an archive of the Quekett Journal of Microscopy from 1868 to 2008 have almost run out, so Steve Gill has prepared an extended archive covering 1868 to 2012 complete with a search facility on a USB flash drive. It is available now at the greatly reduced price of £10.00 plus postage. The USB drive also includes a full run of the Newsletter plus several other items from the archives.

Journal on USB flash driveJournal on USB flash drive

To purchase a copy of the archive, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page:

Little Imp logoLittle Imp Archival Series CD-ROMs

Posted 6th July 2017

Do you remember these CD-ROMs with lots of hard-to-find documents on microscopes by Beck, Watson and Zeiss and on slides by Fred Enock and Clarke & Page? Brian Bracegirdle compiled all the data and Steve Gill wrote the HTML and JavaScript for the user interface, and the discs were sold through Savona Books. Shortly before he died, Brian asked if the compilations could be made available free of charge on the Quekett website, and Steve has now updated the interfaces so that they work with modern operating systems and modern web browsers. You can now browse or search 14 of the compilations here:

Norman Chapman elected to Honorary Membership

Posted 11th April 2017

Norman Chapman’s election as an Honorary Member was announced at the AGM, and at the M. C. Cooke lecture on Tuesday 11th April 2017 Club President Joan Bingley presented Norman with his certificate.

Norman Chapman receiving his Certificate of Honorary MembershipNorman Chapman receiving his Certificate of Honorary Membership

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

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

“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.

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