Algernon Henry Belfield (1838-1922) was a pastoralist, a citizen astronomer and meteorologist. In this latter role, he recorded in meticulous detail his weather observations for over 45 years at his Eversleigh Station in the New England district. His weather diaries have been digitised and are now available for future climate research.
From 9.30am to 12 noon, 12 March 2018 at Saumarez Homestead, Bill Oates (UNE), Dr Linden Ashcroft (Bureau of Meteorology), Ass. Professor Howard Bridgman (Newcastle Uni), and Dr Ken Thornton (Newcastle Uni) will present an update on Belfield’s personal history, the digitization of his handwritten records, and their significance to research into the weather and climate both in the New England and on a global stage.
Algernon Henry Belfield was both a leader and visionary. Yet to historic weather researchers of the 21st century he stands tall. The mystery lies in why this man devoted a portion of his daily routine for over forty-five years to compiling detailed weather records. This was done at his Government Weather station No 056056.
Perhaps the answer stems from his time at the prestigious English public school Rugby. Perhaps the answer lies in his membership of the Royal Society of NSW, the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science. Perhaps the answer lies in his financing his own contribution to the colony’s 1874 observations of the Transit of Venus. Apart from his near sixty-year association with Eversleigh, Algernon Henry had strong employment and family connection with Saumarez. In 1859, after less than three years in the colony, he was appointed an Overseer at Saumarez and a year later Manager.
Cost: Free (Morning tea on arrival by gold coin donation)
Lunch will be available for purchase from the Saumarez Café Menu following the talks.
RSVP 4.30pm 0n Friday 9th March 2018
10.00am Call to order: Les Davis, Property Manager, Saumarez Homestead (Time keeper)
10.05am Introduction of Seminar coordinator Gionni Di Gravio (Archivist, Newcastle University) by Richards Belfield, Grandson of Algernon Belfield.
10.10am Dr Ken Thornton (Newcastle Uni): Algernon Henry Belfield – the man, his background, and his weather interests
10.30am Ass. Professor Howard Bridgman (Newcastle Uni): The data sets, spreadsheet creation, quality analysis, problems and some unknown information
10.50am Dr Linden Ashcroft (Bureau of Meteorology): The value of the data set on the national and international scale, importance to climate change background, and use of the circulation indices to explain weather/climate variations at the location, importance of ACRE
11.10am Bill Oates, University of New England Archivist: Pastoral archives in the New England. A report on the continuing search to augment the Belfield dataset’
11.30am Question Time: the speakers will answer questions from the seminar attendees.
11.55am Vote of Thanks – Richard Belfield
Noon: Conclusion of seminar: Speakers will be available during lunch for further discussion.
For more information about Algernon Belfield and his Weather Records go to https://uoncc.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/belfield-climate-archive-expands-with-new-find/