1. Editorial

Chemical Abstracts
Your Editor is in sack-cloth and ashes ready to be taken to the Bridewell ( the worst prison in eighteenth century London) manacled and already flogged! In his last (despicable) editorial, he insinuated that Chemical Abstracts were ignoring us! The trick was to find the right address! Thanks to Abraham Jalbout, we did contact the appropriate person, a very helpful lady and this is how it all went.

“Thank you for your inquiry – I am delighted (and relieved) to report that the INTERNET JOURNAL OF VIBRATIONAL SPECTROSCOPY is now indeed covered in CA. Coverage commenced with volume 4(1)2000 only last year. However, we picked up all volume 3 (1999)issues earlier this year. The most recent issue currently processed is volume 5(6).”

So – we ARE abstracted and have effectively been so for 3 years.

Citation Index
As you will see from the above – Chemical Abstracts cover our Journal. You folks who publish in the Journal need a decent Citation Index. THIS IS ENTIRELY UP TO YOU – I cannot help!! CITE PAPERS IN IJVS and the rating will rise, improving the status of both the Journal and YOUR papers. Need I spell out the obvious?

The Future of IJVS
The future looks bleak. There are two serious problems.

You, the readers are simply not producing copy. We have asked several people to produce special editions – all have said “yes”, but in the future! We are receiving almost no submitted papers or feature articles. Enquiries keep coming so Dear Readers is healthy. If you check the last few editions you will see that I have been writing the feature articles or that I am heavily involved in producing them e.g. the pieces on methane clathrate and on Perkin Elmer’s Spotlight. Now, to be honest, I am running out of inspiration. I’ve already used up my store of expertise and experience and I’m steadily wandering into pastures new – I’m worried about the quality.

Money. When Perkin Elmer withdrew their support we had cash in the bank. This has been very carefully used but it now has nearly all gone. To date, our attempts to attract sponsorship and/or advertisements have produced nothing. Vague comments about advertising “next financial year” have been illicited from a couple of companies, but ‘comments’ don’t pay the bills.

So – we are rapidly approaching crunch time.

We have contacted all the members of the Editorial Board and asked for suggestions. We hear that some papers are available and several respondents have come up with ways of raising cash. The problem is that all require time – and we have very little.

More next time……

The Corporate HQ

As I hinted in the last Editorial, we have recently discovered something of the age of the Editorial Office. Over the front door of Gable Cottage is a Sun Fire Mark – i.e. a lead plate showing a ‘sun face’ and 6 digits underneath nailed into the wall. These plates date back to the eighteenth century when house insurance was only for a select few and the mark originates from one of our leading Insurance companies of today – Royal Sun Alliance. As the Fire Service in the past, was privately owned by the insurance company, if your house was on fire and the Fire Brigade turned up, but didn’t see the appropriate mark above the door they have been known to ‘do a runner’ and your house burnt down!

I suspect this didn’t happen very often because the Fire brigade would have been based in Winchester – about 8 km away. By the time the alarm had been raised and they reached Crawley the house would have burned to cinder. We do know that about very 50 years through the 1700 and 1800’s large parts of the Village were burned.

We duly contacted the Royal Sun Alliance in London and asked their archivist if anything was known about our Fire Mark. The Archivist obtained a copy of the appropriate page from a ledger of 1st November 1793 and sent it to me, remarking that it was very unusual to find the mark still nailed to the building.

The then owner, a Mr Simms was a Cordwainer (a shoemaker and leather worker), the house was then thatched (a straw roof) [which we know was changed to tiles in 1922]. The value of the house exceeded £100 but Mr Simms covered it for only £100 loss. He renewed in 1794 and the premium had gone up from 10 shillings to 11 shillings [50 pence to 60  pence or 0.85 to 1 Euro]. Quite a lot of money at the time but a 10% rise in premiun in one year – nothing changes!

How old was our H.Q. in 1793? Well that meant a trip to the Hampshire Record Office. The oldest map they have is an Inclosure (note spelling) Map of 1794. The house, as expected is on the map. I then turned to the Poor Law Register. The book for the 1790’s shows that the house was owned by a Mr Pearn who paid the Poor Law Rate on behalf of Simms amongst others, so Pearn owned the house and Simms was the tenant. This still doesn’t answer the question of how old is Gable Cottage. We need a map earlier than 1794. There is a glimmer of hope – the Enclosure Map of 1794 (and the Act of Parliament of 1795) enforcing the enclosures) refers to ‘old enclosures’. Perhaps a map exists somewhere covering these and might include a map of Crawley village and the cottage. Research continues……