The Act of Longitude which set up the problem and the prize which motivated John Harrison was passed in July 1714. There’s a major exhibition at the Maritime Museum as well as conferences and publications…  Here in Barrow we held our own commemoration courtesy of a Heritage Lottery Grant and the collaboration of John Harrison CE Primary School.

On the morning of 12th July, the road was closed and the pupils, from youngest to oldest, paraded down the High Street. There were giant puppets, model ships and an array of hats and helmets with a nautical theme – plus the beat of the drums and the singing of many voices!

Once in the Market Place, the Year Six pupils performed extracts from their play about Harrison’s life and work, scripted by them from their own research and guided by Frances Kelly, the school’s resident arts worker, funded by the HLF.  As well as an enactment of the wreck of Admiral Cloudesly Shovell’s fleet, they managed to include some of the crazy would-be solutions to the longitude problem and the workings of Harrison’s clock’s grasshopper escapement.

Congratulations to the school for a commemoration even the Maritime Museum won’t match!