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.’

1972
11th August 1972No entry
25th August 1972No entry
27th August 1972Sponsored Walk
8th September 1972No entry
22nd September 1972No entry
6th October 19721st Meeting of The York Astronomical Society
20th October 19722nd Meeting
3rd November 19723rd Meeting
17th November 19724th Meeting - Raffle
1st December 19725th Meeting
15th December 19726th Meeting
19th December 19727th Meeting - Social evening
29th December 1972No meeting
1973
8th January 19738th Meeting
26th January 19739th Meeting
9th February 197310th Meeting
23rd February 197311th Meeting
9th March 197312th Meeting
23rd March 197313th Meeting
6th April 197314th Meeting
20th April 197315th Meeting
4th May 197316th Meeting
18th May 197317th Meeting
10th August 197321st Meeting
21st August 1973Committee Meeting
24th August 197322nd Meeting - Annual General Meeting. Martin Dawson and Philip Hammond attended for the first time.
4th September 1973Committee Meeting
7th September 197323rd Meeting - Film Show
21st September 197324th Meeting - Talk by David Scarth
5th October 197325th Meeting - Film Show - films on Mars.
9th October 1973Committee Meeting
1976
20th February 1976YAS Member David Thackery presented his talk on 'Greenwich'
25th February 197619:30 Physics Dept room no. L.002 'Clusters of Galaxies'
28th February 1976Visited Salford Astronomical Society
5th March 1976Dr. Keith Hindley presented his talk 'Fireball's'
6th March 1976Got up at 05:20 to see Comet West, very faint
9th March 1976YAS Committee Meeting
10th March 1976Astro
19th March 1976Astro Quiz
20th March 1976Trip to Huddersfield Astronomical Society
2nd April 1976Dr. Keith Hindley presented his talk 'Comets'
7th April 1976Went to YAS Observatory at Acaster Airfield.
16th April 1976Went to YAS Observatory at Acaster Airfield.
29th April 1976Eclipse of the Sun
30th April 1976Went to YAS Observatory at Acaster Airfield.
2nd May 1976Went to YAS Observatory at Acaster Airfield.
5th May 1976Went to YAS Observatory at Acaster Airfield, placed dome on Observatory
11th May 1976Astro
13th May 1976Eclipse of Moon
14th May 1976Mr. Roger Jackson gave a talk to YAS
15th May 1976Went to FAS meeting at Coventry
28th May 1976Dr. Promfet presented 'Modern Cosmology'
8th June 1976Astro
11th June 1976Martin Dawson held a quiz at the YAS
12th June 1976Visited Cambridge
28th August 1976Working party at Observatory, Judy Acton and Martin Dawson painted the inside of the walls.
3rd September 1976Astro
12th September 1976Went to Observatory to finish off the painting, meanwhile Len Cook put the W.C. door up.
24th September 1976Went to Observatory
1st October 1976Went to Astro
15th October 1976Astro
20th October 1976Astro
29th October 1976YAS member Hamish Lowe presented 'Telescope Making'
6th November 1976Went to the Observatory, no one else went...
9th November 1976Astro
12th November 1976Astro
20th November 1976Visited Wold Newton
23rd November 1976'Arab Astronomy' lecture in Tempest Anderson Hall
26th November 1976Astro
10th December 1976YAS Meeting, film shows on Mars, Jupiter and YAS Special on YAS Visit to Wold Newton.
1977
7th January 1977YAS 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.
13th January 1977New nova discovered in Sagitta
17th January 1977The Sky at Night, 11:35pm 'Sirius the Dog Star'
21st January 1977YAS Meeting, General Chat amongst members. £1.13 made in raffle (1.73) book as prize.
26th January 1977YAS observation session on Knavesmire, start time 19:30.
2nd February 1977YAS observation session on Knavesmire, start time 19:30.
4th February 1977Dr. Keith Hindley presented his talk 'Comets and Meteors', made £1.85 in raffle
9th February 1977YAS observation session on Knavesmire, start time 19:30.
18th February 1977University Meeting.
4th March 1977YAS Meeting, Astronomy film show, raffle made 0.55p (all together £1.30).
7th March 1977Got 2 lenses of Olav's image erector and Zac's prism for his star-diagonal re-silvered.
18th March 1977YAS Meeting, Guy Fennimore's trip to Moscow, made .70p in raffle.
20th March 1977Went to Observatory with Zac in morning.
30th March 1977Committee meeting at Roger Jackson's home.
1st April 1977Bought ABT 647R a Suzuki GT185A
2nd April 1977JAS Meteor section meeting at imperial Collage, London, Roger Jackson and Dr. Keith Hindley attended.
3rd April 1977Went to Observatory with Zac Kadis, Patrick Martin and Dave Barker.
12th April 1977Went to Observatory.
15th April 1977Bradford Astronomical Society visited YAS. made £1.36 (£1.96) in raffle.
22nd April 1977YAS Trip to Observatory to see April Lyrid's cancelled due to heavy cloud. Zac Kadis, Patrick Martin and Martin Dawson went to the Knavesmire
29th April 1977Astronomy Society meeting, made £1.75 in raffle (.75p for book)
13th May 1977York AS meeting, Zac Kadis presented 'Spaceflight'. Made £1.50p in raffle, £1 for book and raffle tickets.
21st May 1977Croydon Astronomical Society's 21st Anniversary celebration. Set of at 6:45 got back at 23:30
27th May 1977Went out to the Observatory. Put some old boulders in a pile for some steps up the side.
7th June 1977Went to Scarborough planetarium
10th June 1977Made £1.20 in raffle (£1.35 in total) plus 0.50p donated by Mrs Gibson
11th June 1977Opened a savings account on behalf of the YAS for raffle money (£10.09) (G.P.O. No. 384/405/780)
12th June 1977Went to University with Zac and Patrick.
24th June 1977Made 0.40p in raffle
26th June 1977Went to Observatory with Zac and Patrick.
1st July 1977At night, Zac Kadis, Patrick Martin and Martin Dawson went to the Observatory and stayed all night.
2nd July 1977Zac started work on the path.
3rd July 1977Went to Observatory
8th July 1977Had a mixed bag of assorted astronomy subjects.
10th July 1977Went to Observatory, worked on the path.
15th July 1977Went to Observatory with Zac and Patrick.
17th July 1977Went to Observatory.
18th July 1977Went to Bradford Astronomical Society to challenge them in a quiz. York AS won 110 to 83. YAS team members Patrick Martin, Adian Barcley (check spelling), Dave Thackery and Martin Dawson.
20th July 1977'The Sky at Night: The New Infra-red Telescope'
22nd July 1977York AS meeting, Roger Jackson presented 'Meteors', last meeting for summer.
24th July 1977Went to Observatory.
26th July 1977Roger visited me in the evening.
30th July 1977Rebuilding YAS's old 3-in brass John Dollond refractor.
31st July 1977Went to the University in afternoon with Zac Kadis, Dave Barker and Patrick Martin.
5th August 1977No astronomy society meeting. Visited Knaresborough bought a book by Arthur C Clarke.
9th August 1977Observed the Sun during the day, then watched for satellites and meteors in the evening.
10th August 1977Went to the Observatory in the Afternoon. 'The Sky at Night: The Sun in the Sky'.
12th August 1977YAS Perseid Meteor Watch - 20:00 start, came home at 03:00.
17th August 1977Visited Patrick Martin took his telescope to rebuild.
19th August 1977Tried to find a bolt for PM' telescope - no luck.
20th August 1977 Went to see Dave Barker and Patrick Martin. Voyager 2 was launched on a perfect lift-off. Cygnid meteor shower,
1st January 1970in York it was too cloudy on the 20-21 August, saw a glimpse of moon at 22:00hrs on 21st but too cloudy to see properly.
22nd August 1977Went to see Patrick Martin and Zac Kadis.
23rd August 1977Went to see Patrick Martin gave him back his address book.
29th August 1977Took photograph's of Patrick Martin's telescope.
31st August 1977Roger visited and passed me some posters, delivered them to various library's around York.

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