If you’ve ever seen people in hi-vis standing on street corners holding rulers and odd looking contraptions, then you’ve seen a surveyor, the people who measure things.

Chartered Surveyors are though as a group, people who are difficult to pin down as doing one thing, as they do lots, mostly to do with the construction and property industries.

Chartered Surveyors have been around for a considerably more than 150 years, but 150 years ago, they gained an official body to regulate them, and it was a Regal one at that. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors was born, and this is it’s 150th anniversary year.

So, an exhibition shows off what they do.

It’s in one of those grand institutional buildings near Parliament that sprung up in Victorian times, and you’re advised by reception to head up to the library, where the exhibition is being housed.

It’s mostly of display “panels” with the history of the Institution, and the grand building it occupies, but with a number of panels about the work they do.

There’s ancient theodolites, a modern theodolites, and flying theodolites (drones) for surveying the landscape

Pride of place goes to a Lego model of their HQ, made out of 13,000 bricks and taking 150 hours to build, although probably more fun is the BIS graphic display next to it that shows how modern computer graphics can show buildings in ever increasing detail.

One of the grandees of the Institution is John Penfold, designer of the famous hexagonal postbox, of which a replica is on display. There’s also a 3D printed map of London, which really should be the sort of thing sold to adorn living rooms.

A few cases of medals and books. Some of the objects are on bookshelves behind a gauze cover, so a bit difficult to see clearly.

Nonetheless, Lego, postboxes and 3d maps. It’s a nice little display that’s worth 20 minutes of your time when next in Parliament Square.

The exhibition is open Mon-Fri, 9am-5:30pm until the end of this year at RICS headquarters.

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