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I was put in charge of the room that did the climatology. That had the weather from all stations in Britain. We had to interpret them from the coding, then we had to calculate the various means for the month; the mean for rainfall, the mean wind and the mean temperature. The weather came in on big sheets over the teleprinter and I checked it.
I went down to Bracknell when computers came into view. They were going to start doing my job by computer. There was a huge room with, like, wardrobes right down the middle of it and that was the computers.
I used to go to lectures sometimes at the university. There’s a Met course at the university and the Met man invited us to lectures. I went to one where he said that, in time, you would be able to get the information from all the encyclopaedias on a little bit of plastic.
Ella, Vida and Vi using the theodolite at Prestwirck, 1946
After the war I joined the Met Office. I was on magnetics. We got charts in from Eskdale Muir and from Blackford Hill of the magnetic variation and we had to calculate the difference between real and magnetic north. It was a long job. We had to manipulate the figures with cosines and trigonometry.