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Measurement - Imperial v Metric

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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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61 of 67  Mon 13th Jan 2020 9:36am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3325

Well, there was a day when I used to turn yards, feet and inches into pounds, shillings and pence, like this day in 1962. John Lawrence (later Lord Oaksey) made a huge mistake for me. He was riding a horse called Pioneer Spirit - there were just seven runners, the favourite fell at the sixth bringing down another horse, then there was five, then a horse fell at the seventh bringing down another horse, then there was three. Then one fell at the ninth, then there were two. When Oaksey cleared the second last thirty lengths in front of the only other horse, full of running, the three miles and one furlong race was virtually over, and I was counting out my three hundred quid or so, as I thought, he only had to jump the last. Then Oaksey did something unbelievable, he pulled the horse to a stop. Crazy, stupid idiot, and a thousand more words left my lips, the other horse swept by him and won the race, then Oaksey ran on again and came second. He claimed in the Sporting Life next day that he had been confused by the stewards altering the course, he could only see hurdles in front, but he needed to go round them to see the last fence.
Non-Coventry - Measurement - Imperial v Metric
Roger T
Torksey
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62 of 67  Tue 14th Jan 2020 1:37pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2019  Total posts:574

In the early days of conversion to metric, my wife was attempting to reverse park her old blue Morris Oxford estate into a narrow parking spot. She employed our elder daughter to guide her in. "That's a metre and a half, Mummy" "Oh for goodness sake, tell me in feet and inches!" Cheers
Non-Coventry - Measurement - Imperial v Metric
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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63 of 67  Sat 18th Jan 2020 10:47pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:592

The saga of Imperial v metric goes on. Cine film sizes are always 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, or whatever. (Interestingly, Kodak, an American company, is said to have introduced 35mm in the thirties; I'm surprised they didn't call it "inch and half".) But a piece of filmage, whatever its length, is referred to as "footage". There's consistent for you. (Note the modern trend of ending as many nouns as possible with the suffix "-age"; e.g. it used to be traffic signs or road signs; now, it's signage. Uggh.) Take bowls, an old English game. If a shot is short in length, the player needed "another foot of weight". A good shot is congratulated with "good wood!". (The horse racing fraternity uses the same expression: I heard one aficionado say he was "going to good wood". No doubt Kaga will confirm this.) Then there's the railroad (railway to the English). The most common track gauge is the standard gauge, which is in feet and inches. It's all over Europe, even Germany, and many other metric countries.
Non-Coventry - Measurement - Imperial v Metric
PeterB
Mount Nod
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64 of 67  Sat 18th Jan 2020 11:29pm  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:243

Slim, You might find that standard gauge is 1435mm in several countries (including the UK - officially). A distance can be measured in any units. In the UK, being between the rails is described (officially) as "in the four-foot" - not a good place to be. Between tracks is the 'six-foot' (not much better if there are trains coming - lie down). Peter.
Non-Coventry - Measurement - Imperial v Metric
3Spires
Leicestershire
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65 of 67  Sat 18th Jan 2020 11:46pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:58

On 18th Jan 2020 10:47pm, Slim said: .... Take bowls, an old English game. If a shot is short in length, the player needed "another foot of weight". A good shot is congratulated with "good wood!". (The horse racing fraternity uses the same expression: I heard one aficionado say he was "going to good wood". No doubt Kaga will confirm this.)
Hi Slim I'm not sure if you're pulling our legs with reference to "going to good wood" - is it possible they just meant Goodwood Racecourse?
Non-Coventry - Measurement - Imperial v Metric
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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66 of 67  Mon 20th Jan 2020 9:48pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:592

On 18th Jan 2020 11:29pm, PeterB said: Slim, You might find that standard gauge is 1435mm in several countries (including the UK - officially). A distance can be measured in any units. In the UK being, between the rails is described (officially) as "in the four-foot" - not a good place to be. Between tracks is the 'six-foot' (not much better if there are trains coming - lie down). Peter.
Yes Peter. I'm sure this country defined it first, in the early 19th century (Stephenson), and labelled it in feet and inches. I guess it's later been converted into mm. 1435 is an awkward number. If you were starting in metric you'd have 1500mm (like the old 5ft fluorescent being called 1500, the 6ft called 1800 etc). "The distance between the inside edges of the rails is defined to be 1435 mm except in the United States and on some heritage British lines, where it is still defined in U.S. customary units as exactly "four feet eight and one half inches." "In the six foot" reminds me of those old black and white films with an innocent girl and the bad guy!
Non-Coventry - Measurement - Imperial v Metric
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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67 of 67  Mon 20th Jan 2020 9:52pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:592

On 18th Jan 2020 11:46pm, 3Spires said: Hi Slim I'm not sure if you're pulling our legs with reference to "going to good wood" - is it possible they just meant Goodwood Racecourse?
Hello 3Spires. Sometimes, as we hurtle through space, as some scientists posit, on a meaningless piece of rock, some humourage is propitious. Smile
Non-Coventry - Measurement - Imperial v Metric

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