Stone Quarry solution

Just inside the front door of my house is a picture I took in the garden of The Goat, a good hotel in Snowdonia where we were on holiday. It shows Ann pushing a swing on which are James and Linden. I would estimate the date to be about 1957. We had driven there in our Phantom 1 Rolls-Royce and met Henry Bristowe with his wife and son Richard who was about my son William’s age. We became friends. The Bristowes had come in their Bentley, which was Henry’s joy. They had come from Christow, not far from Exeter. Henry managed a stone quarry near Christow. He had a problem there and asked me if I could suggest a solution. Like all stone quarries the stone crusher fed a revolving drum divided into sections each of which has different sized holes in it allowing stones of the same size through into a funnel which takes them – via a belt – into the main hopper. When a contractor phones for some – say – ¾” stones it is important to know if the quarry can supply. It is important to know how full the ¾” hopper is and the only way the quarry owner could determine this was to send someone up to the hopper top to have a look. I thought of a better method which consisted of a bob-weight controlled by a loose belt driven by a geared-down electric motor with an eccentrically fixed pulley-wheel. If the motor is geared to, say, 1rpm the belt will tighten once every ½ minute and leave it slack for the rest of the minute. Tested on a model with a bucket of sand it was amusing to watch it working once every minute the bob weight would appear at the top of the sand and remain there until some more sand was added when it would quickly rise to the top again. If most of the sand was removed (contractor removing some of the hopper contents) then bob-weight would drop to the new level. A firm in Slough said they would market it, but I never followed it up. I expect a modern solution would be electronic. So all I have got left of this adventure is the picture of Ann and two of my children in their early years. I hope you enjoyed another facet of my unusual life, which is still continuing – but no more inventions I assure you!

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