Astronomical Society of Haringey
ABOUT THE SOCIETY
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Also scroll down for a new section on what could have been at Alexandra Palace
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SIR ARTHUR C. CLARKE, CBE,
(16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008)
The Astronomical Society of Haringey is very proud to have had Sir Arthur as its Patron, since its creation way back in 1972
The ASH is based in North London and is a Society that has a wide ranges of interests, that reflects that of its Patron, including spaceflight, astronomy, science fiction and all associated technology
MEMBERSHIP and JOINING THE SOCIETY
We have in our membership a wide range of astronomical interests and abilities.
Besides our regular observing meetings we endeavour to arrange talks and activities that can include all our membership.
Click on the form above for the downloadable version in PDF format
If you have a PDF writer, such as the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, (use the 'fill & sign' command), the form can be filled out digitally and returned to the Membership Secretary
Otherwise print out and post to the address on the form
With the pandemic stopping regular 'live' meetings, we are using one of the on-line programs.
See MEETINGS to determine which is currently being used.
We currently have meetings for nine months of the year, both observing sessions and lecture meetings with speakers both from the ranks of our membership and from outside. See SPEAKERS for just some who have entertained and informed the Society over the years
We have a selection of telescopes and recently have started regular Observing Evenings at a site near to our main meeting location.
See OBSERVING for more details and the location of this site
THE BACK STORY
The Astronomical Society of Haringey was born out of an idea by the Society's founder, and President, Fred Clarke
In 1970 he devised a Space Age Exhibition held at the Arts Centre in Wood Green. One of the guests was the original The Sky at Night presenter, the astronomer Patrick Moore, later Sir Patrick, who commented that there, seemed to be such an interest in the area for space and astronomy that a society ought to be formed to represent this interest.
(The photo above shows Fred at the fourth Space Age show in 1973)
So it was, and the inaugural meeting was held in 1972 with Fred Clarke's brother, the visionary writer Arthur C. Clarke giving the talk. He was also invited to become Patron of the newly-formed Society.
Later of course Arthur was knighted, giving the Society two related links - not only with 'The Night Sky', but with 'Knights of the Realm'.
Above: John Bush - then Managing Director at Gollanz Books, publisher of Arthur C. Clarke's novels - was one of the speakers at early ASH meetings.
Here the first Space Age Exhibition is still set up in the Wood Green Arts Centre, including a background of original artwork by David A. Hardy and a 1:10 scale model of the early European launch rocket, Europa, on the stage.
At the outset it was decided that the interests of the ASH would be as wide as possible, reflecting that of our Patron. It should encompass space research, astronautics, cosmology, future technology, science fiction and fantasy, as well as astronomy, plus all associated technologies.
Having grown out of the first Space Age Exhibition, other exhibitions were organised by the Society, many of which were based at Alexandra Palace. The ASH initially met in various rooms at Alexandra Palace, both before and after the fire in 1980. Plans were well-established to make a permanent base there, using the empty North-West Tower as the Headquarters, with an observatory on the roof, possibly a planetarium, which would have been the start of grander plans for setting up an Astronomical and Space Education Research Trust (ASERT), of which the ASH was to be a major part, all adding to the facilities the Palace could offer to the public.
Above - the dome in position on the top of the North West Tower
Left - the stairs leading up from the floor below into the dome
Below - the room below the dome. Pictured are founder members, Wally Baker, for many years Secretary, and Ken Creamer, who was Treasurer for many years
Above - the dome in position on its supporting wall, and the telescope tube (without mirrors or anything) laying by its side. (We think the tube may very well still be on the roof!)
Right : The exterior of the North West Tower. The scaffolding was - for some time - the only way onto the roof. (That or a cherry picker!) The windows that can be seen on the upper floor are the same ones in the photo bottom left. Wally Baker is in the green helmet
Below Fred Clarke on the roof. The model on the block is the one built by Mat Irvine as a general overview of what a small observatory could look like
Left - left to right - Mat Irvine, Ken Creamer and Fred Clarke standing by the supporting wall for the dome.
The model, as above, is in front of Mat
photos : Mat Irvine
Much work was done, including building the supporting wall on the roof to hold a 17 foot dome. In fact the dome was in place, and just about to be bolted down, when high winds of January 1991 got under the dome, lifted it off and deposited it in the courtyard below, damaging it beyond repair.
This time also coincided with changes to the management structure at Alexandra Palace, which meant the proposed Educational Centre was not deemed viable, and this also meant we had to find alternative accommodation.
Firstly meetings were held at White Hart School, and then came a move to a different borough as we met at Ashmole School, Southgate, London N14, for some years. Changes there however meant another move and the base is currently Ye Olde Mitre Inne in Barnet.
Meetings are held monthly, usually on the third Thursday of the month.
See MEETINGS page for full details
Members are kept informed of Society news and wider issues through our long-running magazine, '2002'. Click logo for the page, where there are links to downloadable versions in pdf format.
The Society also has its own Facebook page. Click logo for page.
This is an 'open' group, so can be viewed by anyone - if they are a Facebook member
If you wish to join the Society page, just ask