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Doug Daniels (Joint Astronomy Secretary)

At the beginning of the session, we were saddened by the news of the death of Brian Bond, our chief Solar observer and then further saddened by the news of the passing of Philip Eden, our Meteorological Secretary. If only there was something to penetrate the gloom at the Observatory – but no, the Observatory remained closed awaiting essential repairs and at the time of writing, its condition remains the same. Our main problem was (is) the electrical supply. The ancient wiring of the main supply needs to be replaced with cable conforming to modern building regulation. The other problem area is with the Met. Office. At present their equipment is stored in the observatory building awaiting a decision as to its future. We hope that it will be reinstated. If not it will mean an end of our unbroken record of Met. readings from the same site spanning more than a century.

At last year’s AGM, I reported that the observatory was out of action for the longest period since its foundation in 1900. I certainly did not expect to make the same observation a year later. The Winter of 2017-18 was harsh and protracted which coupled with illness suffered by both Astro. Secs. meant that no work was carried out during the Winter.

At present we are aiming to get the Observatory running again by the end of September, when the new session of open nights is due to begin and to achieve this Simon is planning working parties during September, when once again we will be looking for volunteers.

Doug Daniels (Joint Astro. Sec.)


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