Renfrewshire

Email: Survey Officer

Astronomers

Weir, Thomas [FRAS] (1843-1908), born Greenock, later an engineer at Greenock Foundry before moving to Manchester where he was an active member of the BAA NW branch. Solar eclipse expeditions to Vadso 1896 and Plasencia 1900.

Observatories

Coats Observatory [CO] (1884- ), Oakshaw Street West, Paisley established as a  gift to the people of Paisley by thread manufacturer Thomas Coats – cost £6,000 with £2,000 endowment.  Designed by John Honeyman, it incorporated  wrought ironwork,  carvings by John Young and stained glass windows. The public observatory opened Oct. 1883, costing  Operated by the Paisley Philosophical Institution it was originally equipped with a 5½-inch photo-visual refractor by Cooke and a 10-inch Grubb refractor was added in 1897. Other equipment included an orrery, spectroscope and a transit telescope. Weather Meteorological measurements were undertaken continue uninterrupted to the present. A pavilion to the rear of the observatory complex was added at time that housed extra apparatus and seismic recording equipment – disused by c.1930 then demolished.The observatory was transferred to Paisley District Council in 1963 and is now operated by Renfrewshire Council. It is open on a daily basis (except Mon.) and runs evening viewing nights throughout the winter months. Renfrewshire Astronomical Society meet there on a Fri. evening throughout the year (Stroobant 1931; Henderson 1899; Gavine 1981, 263).

Astronomy Groups

Renfrewshire Astronomical Society (RenAS), founded(?).  Members hold monthly/weekly lecture/informal meetings at the Lecture Hall, Paisley Museum, Paisley (PA1 2BA).

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