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Early Years in the Bureau


My Early Years in the Bureau of Meteorology

The Formation of the Frosterley Club

Attachment A

Attachment B

Attachment C

Attachment D

Attachment E

Attachment F

Attachment G

Attachment H

Attachment I


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My Early Years in the Bureau of Meteorology (continued)

The Central Weather Bureau in Melbourne in 1937 was very small and apart from the Training School, temporarily housed in the Horticultural Hall, consisted of only the building at No. 2 Drummond Street. This was a year or more before the two-storey concrete addition, with lift and instruments on the roof, was completed. It was only in the planning stage in 1937. In its place was a variety of sheds including an instruments store of sorts which seemed to be mainly under the charge of Allan Cornish. There was a variety of other sheds where later an asbestos fibro building was to be built. That was the sum total of the office accommodation for the Central Weather Bureau at the beginning of our training course. The next two trainees to arrive for our course were Mr Martin BSc, about my age, very pleasant in manner and obviously very intelligent; the other arrival who wasn't quite certain whether to take the job or not, was Mr MacRae BSc, BA (Honors). He thought he might have better opportunities; he had worked in an insurance office. We three newcomers were accommodated in the Horticultural Hall where Mr Newman, who had returned from leave in Sydney had assumed control of the Training Course. We were very soon joined by another trainee. Like Martin he had come from Perth, but was older and had worked at the Perth Divisional Office for some time. He was making this trip a honeymoon as he had married shortly before he left Perth, and thereby had his wife's expenses paid since he was already in the service and had to be transferred here. His name was John Hogan, identical in name with the other, previously mentioned, John Hogan.

As they gradually drifted in all the newcomers were given some familiarisation in training with pilot balloon flights both morning and afternoon and other parts of the Bureau's routine. The training course proper was scheduled to start on Monday 13 September, but before that, in the preceding week, Mr Barkley accompanied by Treloar and Newman, took those of us who had already arrived to the monthly Royal Society meeting (that is Glasscock, Martin, McRae and myself). The lecture was given by Mr Wimperis whose name by this stage was well known to us. The lecture was on research in aeronautics illustrated by films. Mr Wimperis, a visiting Englishman, was Director of Research at the Air Ministry in London. The lecture was held in the Victoria Barracks in St. Kilda Road. There were about fifty there, almost too large for the small cinematographic room to hold. At the previous Royal Society meeting when Fritz Loewe lectured, only about fifteen people were present. Wimperis had a well modulated voice with a touch of Oxford accent, a very fluent tongue and a monocle. I noted he looked like the late Admiral Earl Beatty and he spoke very well indeed. He showed slow motion films of streamline flow of air around aerofoil models, birds commencing flight and humming birds hovering.

People in Bright Sparcs - Hogan, John (Doc); Lillywhite, John Wilson; Loewe, Fritz; McRae, John Neil; Newman, Bernard William (Bernie); Treloar, Harry Mayne; Wimperis, H. E.

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Lillywhite, J. 1992 'My Early Years in the Bureau of Meteorology: The Formation of the Frosterley Club', Metarch Papers, No. 4 February 1992, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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