A PLAQUE remembering the life of an amateur meteorologist who set up his own observatory has been unveiled at the site of his former home.

William Henry Dines dedicated his life to ‘experimental meteorology’ after a violent storm destroyed Tay Bridge in Dundee in 1879, killing 75 train passengers who had been travelling over the bridge at the time.

He is credited with helping scientists gain a better understanding of how to measure wind velocity and direction with a much greater accuracy.

The instrument he created in 1892, known as a pressure tube anemometer, is still used widely today.

On Saturday, Mr Dines’ great grandson Steve Poole and former TV weatherman Bill Giles joined representatives from the Bensington local history society and Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Scheme to unveil a new plaque honouring his life.

The tribute has been installed at Old Barn in Brook Street, Benson, formerly part of Colne House where Mr Dines lived from 1913 until his death in 1927.

Eda Forbes, secretary for the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques scheme said he should be seen as a ‘pioneering’ meteorologist.

She added: “W.H. Dines was a key figure in the development of the science and his name is well remembered by meteorologists and local residents.”

Mr Dines set up the observatory at Colne House from which he sent daily reports to the Meteorological Office at Kew.

One of his collaborators during this period was Lewis Fry Richardson, who is known at the father of weather forecasting.

His sons Lewen Dines and John Dines both became meteorologists and carried on running the observatory until 1939 when RAF Benson’s weather station was established.

The plaque was suggested by members of the Bensington history group, which is named after the old name for the village.

Secretary Sue Brown said: “This is the first blue plaque for the village and it seemed fitting given the area’s long-standing links to meteorology.”