Time will tell for Perceval Square

A NEW addition to Perceval Square in Stornoway is sure to stand the test of time, writes Michelle Robson.

Developing an analemmatic sundial is the latest project for Stornoway Amenity Trust who are proposing to site an analemmatic sundial in the Square.

They are working with pupils and staff at the Nicolson Institute to create the thoroughly useful feature in the town centre.

An analemmatic sundial is a particular kind of horizontal sundial in which the shadow-casting object is vertical, and is moved depending on the date, or to be more precise, depending on the declination of the sun on a given day.

The time is read from the dial by noting where the shadow cast by the vertical pin crosses hour points laid out on an ellipse.

If the dial is made on the ground and large enough, the shadow cast by a person can be used to tell the time.

This is to be the case in the Perceval Square dial and Nicolson pupils have been busy designing the brass hour markers.

Art teacher Kate MacDonald explained that the her first year pupils had been studying hands and they had incorporated this theme into the creation of the hour markers and worked on ‘the hands that built our town’.

These include images and references to both current and historical elements of the town including the Castle; the Hebridean Celtic Festival, the Herring industry and also the modern ferry terminal and many more.

The mathematics of the project is being worked out by Physics teacher Anthony Tuffney.

The finished hour markers will be created from thin brass plates by Stornoway Plastics who were visited by the S1 art pupils earlier this year.

Stornoway Amenity Trust would like to thank Stornoway Rotary Club for their support on this project.

It is hoped that the sundial will be ready this summer.