When ever I hear of Kew Gardens my mind goes back to July 1959. The initial field work for Op Emily had been completed and we were back at Fernhurst until the building was complete and ready for the internal survey to begin. My OC at the time called me in and said he was considering me for promotion to Lance Corporal but first I was to complete a task. That task was to run a line of levels at very short intervals in Kew Gardens in preparation for the movement of a 225 foot 37 ton Douglas Fir from the river Thames to the site of the new flagpole. The fir was a gift from British Columbia, Canada to celebrate both their centenary and Kew's Bicentenary.
See http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/heritage/places/flagpole.html for more information.
In my inexperience I tackled the task in the wrong way, I used a change point for each level point rather than making use of intermediate observations with the result that the closure at the intended location was too large. I had to wait another two years for promotion! A simultaneous tacheometric survey was carried out and here is a picture of that.
Who are the surveyors?
With thanks to Tim Holt for this Photograph.