I had a lovely trip to Leeds yesterday to help open a new display at Leeds City Museum devoted to John Harrison.

The Museum is lucky enough to own one of the three precision longcase clocks that Harrison made in the 1720s - this being the second, made in about 1726 and signed with the name of his brother, James, who also helped with H1 and H2. The display places the clock, appropriately, within the context of Harrison's longitude work, since many of the innovations he introduced into his longcase clocks would go into his sea-clocks, including the very distinctive grasshopper escapement and his gridiron for temperature compensation. I particularly liked the use of AV in the display, which includes some lovely footage of the grasshopper escapement in action - certainly an instance where no amount of words can convey what it's like.

Rather cheekily, I gave them a talk under the title 'Putting Harrison in his Place'. What I really meant by that was thinking about the geographical trajectory of Harrison's life - Foulby, Barrow-on-Humber and London - and about the networks of support and artisanal skill he tapped into and largely benefited from, particularly once he moved down south. Hopefully they got what I meant.

So congratulations to Leeds for being the first to celebrate longitude this year. I hope it's the start of an interesting series of events.

And for those who can't make it to Leeds, we should be displaying another of his longcase clocks in our exhibition this July.