Yorkshire: West Riding

Astronomers

Associated with Astronomers ….

Harrison, John (1693-1776), born near Pontefract invented the ships first chronometer (ODNB).

Ramsden, Jesse (1735-1800), born at Salterhebble near Halifax designed eyepiece (see ODNB).

Sharp(e), Abraham (bap. 1653-1742), born at Little Horton near Bradford friend of Flamsteed, assisted in setting up Royal Observatory in 1678 (ODNB).

Observatories

Societies and Organisations

Batley and Spenborough Astronomical Society (BaSAS), founded in 1968.  The group meets weekly on Thursday at Milner K Ford Observatory at Wilton Park (WF17 0AS) that houses a 15-ionch reflecting telescope.

Bradford Astronomical Society (BraAS), founded originally in 1975 as the Phoenix Astronomical Society, the group changed its title to the current one in 1976.  The group hold bi-montly lecture meetings at Eccleshill Library,  Bradford (BD2 4SR).

Doncaster Astronomical Society (DonAS), founded (?), to provide astronomy to the casual observer and serious enthusiast. Monthly meetings are held at the white painted St George’s House, Doncaster (DN1 1RD). The society’s observing facilities, the Joynes observatory, is a partnership with the Austerfield Field Study Centre (DN10 6RG).

Harrogate Astronomical Society (HarAS), founded (?). Members meet monthly (last Thur.) at Harlow Community Centre, The Green Hut, Harlow Avenue, Harrogate.

Hebden Bridge Astronomy Society (HBAS), first founded in 1918 from a section of the Hebden Bridge Science & Literary Guild.  It was revived in the mid 1980’s (1985) by Rosemary Naylor (formerly Earth & Sky), but now appears defunct (2017).

Huddersfield Astronomical & Philosophical Society (HAPS), founded in 1968 from a WEA course to encourage astronomy.  The Members (50 – 2016) meet at Society Club Room, located just off Railway Street on Huddersfield Town Centre.  In 1972/3 the members decided to build an observatory to house a 16-inch Newtonian telescope on the outskirts of Huddersfield at Crosland Hill with local help (Kirklees Council, David Browns Gears and David Browns Tractors) and Society members (Philip Heppenstall -Engineer and designer,  and Philip Pendred – telescope optics grinder/polisher & fabricator. The telescope was used until 2003 when it was replaced by a Meade LX200 16-inch telescope purchased through a legacy.

Keighley Astronomical Society (KeAS), founded 2011, to promote the study of Astronomy and related fields.  The group holds monthly lecture meetings at Steeton Methodist Church Hall, Keighley [BD20 6PD].

Leeds Astronomical Society (LeeAS), first founded in 1859 from members of the Leeds Phil. & Lit. Society, who also established a small observatory (1859-69?), on Love Lane, off North Street.  After falling into abeyance by 1889 the society was re-constituted from some of its original members in 1893. The group with a current membership of 40, have monthly lecture meetings at the Quaker Meeting House, Leeds (LS2 9DX).

Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society (MeSAS), founded 1978 originally as the Night Sky Astronomy Club, which later joined the Mexborough Astronomy Club to form the current group.  The members meet at Swinton Working Men’s Club.  In 1989, the club decided to build an observatory, known as the J.A. Jones Hoober Observatory sited on Lea Brook Lane (S62 7SH) was completed in 1993.

Sheffield Astronomical Society (ShefAS), founded 1934 by Mr Reginald Cox, a Physics Lecturer from Sheffield University after a meeting at WEA House, Western Bank, Sheffield.  Members now meet at Ranmoor Parish Centre, 5 Ranmoor Park Road (S10 3GX).

Wakefield And District Astronomical Society (WaDAS), founded recently (?) by a few amateur astronomers who got together via the Stargazers Lounge forum.  Meeting are held at The Old Mill, Bennett Avenue Wakefield (WF4 5HJ).

West Yorkshire Astronomical Society (WYAS), founded 1973 by a group of 20 enthusiasts at the Carleton Community Centre, Pontefract.  After 6 years of fund raising the group their Rosse Observatory at Carleton Road, Pontefract (WF8 3 RJ) was  opened  by Patrick Moore and Lord Rosse in 1983.

Useful addresses

County Record Office
Museum Street, York YO1 2DS, England
Tel 01904 655631
Fax 01904 611631
http://www.york.gov.uk/learning/libraries/studies/index.html

 

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