Annual Exhibition of Microscopy 2022

Saturday 15th October 2022

Quekex, the Club’s annual exhibition of microscopy, took place for the second time at Elm Court Youth and Community Centre, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire. The physical event was held alongside an online programme, including exhibits, awards, lectures and gossip.

A wide range of exhibits for the Main Exhibition showed the varied interests of members, and there was a similarly eclectic collection of entries for the different awards sections, which are covered in the sections below.

Quekett President Steve Gill and Nigel Ashby outside Elm Court

Main Exhibition

As last years event was in the midst of Covid and numbers were clearly down we were not entirely sure how this year’s event would be received. The venue is still relatively new to us and also some of us are still cautious or suffering because of Covid. We were therefore exceedingly pleased this year to see the number of people attending in person increasing, and long may the trend continue.

Chris Thomas and Douglas Downer-Smith make some adjustments.

Gordon Brown passes a critical eye over one of the exhibits.

David  Lewis, John Rhodes inspect some of the Barnard entries awarded Certificates of Merit. Stephen Parker in earnest conversation in the background.

Several members brought exhibits.  Stephen Parker showed his Zeiss L Stand, one of the forerunners of microscope design into the 1970s.  He also provided notes and a 1938 Zeiss catalogue for examination.

Nigel Williams and Peter Sunderland.

Douglas Downer-Smith, John Gregory, Graham Matthews, John Rhodes and Pam Hamer.

Phil Greaves provided an exhibit showing Brownian movement, the random oscillation of particles suspended in a gas or liquid. Phil’s display was the more interesting for its being set out on a Banks microscope of the type used in the original work by Brown, and using Clarkia pulchella pollen which Brown also used. Phil provided notes to his exhibit.

Mark Shephard and Robert Ratford.

John  Rhodes and Gordon Brown.

Awards and celebration

In addition to the Main Exhibition there were four other categories in which members could submit work.  Certificates of Merit were awarded. The Eric Marson Award for the preparation of slides was judged by Graham Matthews and there were two Barnard Awards categories (technical merit and  artistic merit) for still images and one for video-micrographs. Links to these categories, and to the celebration of Spike Walker’s work, are given below.

Eric Marson Slide Preparation Award

Barnard Photomicrographic Art Award (Still images)

Barnard Photomicrographic Art Award (Videos)

Steve Gill, President, revealed the winners of the award categories.

Celebrating our members – Spike Walker

Quekex Lecture and Talks 2022

Quekex also features a specialised Lecture, more informal talks, and gossip sessions. This year the Quekett Lecture was given by Dr Neil Handley, Museum Curator of the College of Optometrists on “Doctors, scientists and opticians: the place of microscopes in the museum of a medical-related profession”, and was given live at a time more convenient for our overseas members.
blue-link-icon-18 See a video of Dr Handley’s Lecture (members only)

Two talks were presented.  Jonathan Crowther spoke on “UV Transmission Microscopy – Sunscreens and Diatoms” and Chris Thomas gave a talk on  “Analysing the Paper of a 450 Year Old Bible.”

Lecturer Jonathan Crowther explains UV microscopy in the study of diatoms.

blue-link-icon-18 See a video of Jonathan Crowther’s talk (members only)
blue-link-icon-18 See a video of Chris Thomas’ talk (members only)

There was also a presentation by Jacky McPherson on work she has been doing on the Quekett Slide Collection, which numbers over 20,000 vintage prepared microscope slides from many different sources.
blue-link-icon-18 See a video of Jacky McPherson’s presentation (members only)

Our online attendees experienced some difficulties with one of the lectures for which we must apologise.  The edited recordings of all of these talks are available (members only), so please watch them if you were not able to see them in person.


Of course events like this don’t happen by magic. There are a number of people who all require thanks – those who came with displays and entered the awards, our lecturers and of course our judges. But behind these people there are those setting up equipment, moving tables and chairs, carrying boxes, updating websites and social media, organising award entries and even buying more milk when we ran out. To those people we offer a personal thank you for all of their help, you know who you are are and you are all wonderful.

Let’s do it again next year, who’s with us?

Report and photographs: Lisa Ashby, Peter Wyn-Jones, and Exhibitors

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