The white heat cools

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.

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50 years on

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 it taken so long?  and when will it end?

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1963 and “white heat” in Scarborough

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 the possibility of progress in this area.

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Towards a metric Britain (in fits and starts)

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.

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Celsiheit is back – but help is at hand

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 a simple formula.

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Posted in Consumer affairs, Education, General, Science, Views from abroad | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

A problem with symbols

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.

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Break of railway gauge proposed

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”).

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A skirmish across the Pond

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.

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Signs of the times

We compare the Government’s different approaches to two separate proposals for new road signs.

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Whitworth’s forgotten legacy

Whitworth is famous for the eponymous screw thread, and for his promotion of standard measures and interchangeability that brought about an engineering revolution. Less well known are his enthusiasm for decimal measurement and his opposition to the introduction of the metric system in Britain.

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