A blue plaque was unveiled on Friday morning, 23 August 2019, in honour of Thomas Cooke (1807-1868): internationally-renowned optical instrument maker.
The plaque was jointly arranged by York Civic Trust, the Yorkshire Philosophical Society and York Museums Trust.
The plaque is attached to the Observatory in the Museums Gardens, York, which houses a telescope of 1850 by Thomas Cooke.
The unveiling ceremony was marked by greetings and introduction by Dr Peter Addyman (President of York Civic Trust), Stuart Ogilvy (Deputy Curator of Geology at the Yorkshire Museum), and Catherine Brophy (Chair of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society).
This was followed by a short presentation by Dr Dorothy Nott, a Trustee of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, which covered Thomas Cooke’s life and deeds.
The plaque was unveiled by a direct descendant of Thomas Cooke.
Afterwards, the Yorkshire Philosophical Society provided a reception for attendees at nearby York Explore Library.
Over 60 people attended the unveiling, the largest turnout to date of a York Civic Trust blue plaque unveiling.
Those attending largely comprised members of York Civic Trust, the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, York Museums Trust, York Clock Group, Pocklington & District Local History Group, and a number of astronomers from regional and national organisations, including The Royal Astronomical Society, the British Astronomical Association and our own York Astronomical Society.
See York Civic Trust page for more information on Thomas Cooke
York Astronomical Society member, Graham Moore, produced this short video about Thomas Cooke.
Text taken from the official press release