Far off from the city, in the outskirts of Cambridge lies an old Tudor house that sits crookedly over the high street as if straight out of a fairy tale. Built some 500 years ago, from Elizabeth I strolling past its large wooden door, to nuns coffin making on its dusty grey floors, this house has seen its fair share of the human world. Peer through the rose bushes and apple trees growing by its side and you may well stumble upon a small workshop where an eager inventor sits huddled intently over his desk. Electronic circuit boards are piled from floor to ceiling and the far off hum of 1920’s Jazz swings through the air as he works deep into the night.
Although now retired, as a Cambridge graduate and designer of electron microscopes, Andrew Armit is no stranger to hard work. The house in which he resides is a testament to that, having single-handedly been renovated by him over the years. Yet although Andrew’s inventions spring often from necessity and are born of hard work, like any true inventor, his creations are his passion. His love of apples made way for the invention of a uniquely designed apple corer (CoreStuff – see images below), while his fondness for Jazz music will spur on his next project to design a self-playing piano system. From bean counting machines, strawberry hulling utensils to thermometers, heating systems and devices to help map the human brain, his inventions are wide-ranging, complex and at the same time, touched by an almost artistic sense of imagination.
Among one of his greatest accomplishments is a means of fixing the Royal Bank of England’s famed weathervane. The weathervane that sits in the bank’s Court Room has been seen as a mark of fluctuations in interest rates ever since it was used to measure the wind direction of the trading boats of old travelling across the Thames. It helped to predict how much currency the bank needed to gather and still today, remains of significant symbolic value to the world of finance. When the hands of the weathervane came to an abrupt and unexpected halt some months ago therefore, the banking world was rightly up in arms. With engineers flummoxed as to how to fix this once great device, many feared it faced a doomed fate of gathering dust in darkened cloak-rooms. However, after many weeks of careful planning and designing, luckily Andrew was finally able to come up with a device to ensure that the weathervane could once again rekindle its glory days and accurately measure wind direction. At last the Royal Bank of England would no longer be seen as a monetary institution unable to detect winds of change in the financial world! Well, perhaps…
If you would like to learn more about Andrew Armit’s inventions visit andrewarmit.com and corestuffcooking.weebly.com
Below are images taken of and by me, my friends and my family on the theme of apple coring.