Metric Views

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Commentary on the measurement muddle in the UK 2015-06-26T19:13:37Z
Updated: 15 hours 26 min ago

Metric Malta

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 10:42
Malta is one of four EU countries which, within living memory, did not have metric as their primary system of measures. A recent holiday in Malta prompted a look at its transition to the metric system from traditional measures. The … Continue reading → 0

Waterloo 1815 – what if?

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 00:23
We speculate on the consequences if there had been a different outcome at the Battle of Waterloo. On the morning of 18 June, 200 years ago, 140 000 men from six countries waited in fields beside the main road south … Continue reading → 0

Una mensura sit per totum regnum nostrum

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 00:10
On Monday 15 June, the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta will be celebrated in much of the English-speaking world. In this article we look at one of its less well-known clauses – that relating to weights and … Continue reading → 0

Dying embers and a few flying sparks

Sun, 06/07/2015 - 13:03
The concluding article of this series looks at the ignominious end of the UK’s attempt, began fifty years ago, to make the transition to a single, simple and universal measurement system. In the last article, we saw how in 1978 … Continue reading → 0

The white heat cools

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 00:07
We review the events that followed the announcement in May 1965 of a change of Government policy on the adoption of metric weights and measures. Our article last week examined the consequences of the failure to follow through the change … Continue reading → 8

50 years on

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 23:18
Sunday 24th May will be the 50th anniversary of the announcement by the British Government that the UK was to “go metric” within 10 years.  However, 50 years later we are still little more than half way there.  Why has … Continue reading → 0

1963 and “white heat” in Scarborough

Fri, 05/15/2015 - 00:31
Fifty years ago, the Government made a low-key announcement of a change in policy in relation to the use of metric units by industry. We consider how a speech by the Leader of the Opposition two years earlier had signalled … Continue reading → 1

Towards a metric Britain (in fits and starts)

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 22:32
We highlight some events during the UK’s prolonged transition to a single, simple, rational and universal measurement system, and look forward to an important anniversary later this month. Almost two hundred years, and still counting. That is the period since … Continue reading → 0

Celsiheit is back – but help is at hand

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 00:28
Just when we thought we had seen the last of Fahrenheit temperatures, a tabloid headline warns us against complacency and reminds us of those awkward conversions. Awkward no more, we are pleased to say, as Metric Views has learnt of … Continue reading → 0

A problem with symbols

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 00:39
A quest by one of our readers for a new washing machine has prompted a look at Britain’s confused approach to the use of symbols. In Britain, there are many activities where the use of symbols is taken for granted. … Continue reading → 4

Break of railway gauge proposed

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 00:08
The UK Department for Transport is proposing that a break in railway gauge should be introduced at the UK-French border. Britain’s main line railways will adopt the Irish track gauge of 1600 mm (5’– 3”). Following controversy earlier this year … Continue reading → 7

A skirmish across the Pond

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 00:37
Readers may be interested in a recent exchange of views between Clay Rogers, a journalist with a newspaper in Iowa, and Paul Trusten, Vice President of UKMA’s sister organisation in the USA. From 3 March 1969, it became illegal in … Continue reading → 0

Signs of the times

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:32
We compare the Government’s different approaches to two separate proposals for new road signs. Readers of Metric Views may remember the Government’s rejection of proposals to phase out imperial-only height and width restriction traffic signs.: It was estimated that this … Continue reading → 1