The ultimate history of the York Astronomical Society

Martin Dawson joined the York Astronomical Society in 1973 shortly after the society was formed and has been a member ever since. He kept an occasional diary of events from that time. Some of the entries bear a similarity to current happenings at the Society: meetings, talks and working parties at the observatory, then at Acaster Airfield. An example entry:

7 Jan 1977 – ‘YAS Member Mrs. Gibson presented her talk on her trip to West Africa to see the 1976 October eclipse. 0.90p made in raffle (1.75) Planisphere as prize.’

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Blast from the past – Newsletter no.3 January 1974

York Astro member Martin Dawson, has sent us a copy of the Society’s newsletter from 1974, two years after the Society was formed. Although the newsletter was printed on old technology with hand drawn illustrations, the topics covered would be familiar to members now; reports on recent talks, what’s to be observed that month and progress with the observatory. Back then, meetings were held at the Railway Institute and planning permission for the observatory had been obtained, plus the Society has acquired a 12.5″ reflecting telescope – wonder what happened to that.

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Lunar Eclipse – York Astro media stars

Martin Dawson makes the front page

People in York (well, those prepared to be up through the night) were rewarded with a spectacular view of the lunar eclipse on Monday morning. I feel sorry for some I know who got up through the night and see clouds, only to go back to bed to miss the spectacle when they cleared. York Astro members were busy posting their photographs to social media and Martin Dawson had a photo selected for the York Press lunar eclipse gallery and then with a front page picture and accreditation for him and the Society. Continue reading

Bulletin – December 2018

End of an Era

The YAS Rufforth Observatory is no more!

The remaining PortaKabin unit has been dismantled and suitable materials recovered for recycling or appropriate disposal.  The remaining rotted wood has been burnt. Here you can see Martin Whipp in nostalgic mood watching the burning embers – Martin was there at the beginning and at the end.

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Bulletin November 2018

October in Brief…..

AGM and Informal, A Moving Experience, Knavesmire Exceeds and Honest Stargazing

October 5th Meeting #1002 AGM and Informal

The AGM was the first proper general meeting since becoming a charity. There were just four items of business:

  • Minutes of AGM 1st December, 2017
  • Trustees’ Annual Report
  • Trustees’ Annual Financial Report
  • Trustee Elections

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Bulletin – October 2018

Disappointment, Pride, Frantic, Tension, Emotional, Fantastical and Cloudy. Just seven words that sum up September for YAS

September

Thursday, September 6th

We learn that the Planning Officer is recommending refusal for our planning application for the move of the Observatory to Beetle Bank Farm. It is disappointing that they do no recognise the special circumstances for locating in the Green Belt.

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YorkAstro Planning Recommended for Refusal

The Orion Nebula, as viewed from the Green Belt in York.

Update – the Council did approve our application and we have now moved to Beetle Bank. Work is underway to get our two main telescopes back up and we will update you on progress.

We’d love to show you Astronomical views such as this Orion Nebula over winter, but it is looking possible that York Council may not let us. Continue reading