I first came across one of Everest's theodolites when I was map shopping in Cape Town in 1995. We had to go to the mapping office in Cape Town suburbia; no popping into WHSmiths to pick up your OS equivalent then. Whilst loitering waiting for my map I turned and faced a room stuffed full of surveying artifacts. It was locked but they let me in for a wander which was really kind. The piece de resistance, towards the back of the crowded room, was one of Everest's theodolites. I think it had been left there enroute to India back at the beginning of the 19th century.
The only time I've been face to face with another of his theodolites was when visiting the Great Arc Festival in London in 2002. That was a fun night!
Anyway, I'm off to Cape Town this weekend and decided to visit my old friend. I've just received a very helpful e-mail from the Director of Survey Services who says that if I let him know when I'm visiting he'll come in (off leave) and show me around. Now just how lovely is that? Can't wait!