Derby and District Astronomical Society

Stargazing Session and Exhibition at Brookfield Social Club, Barrow-upon-Trent - Saturday 25th October 2014

Words and Pictures by Mike Lancaster

In the second event to celebrate our 40th Anniversary year the DDAS held a special stargazing session and exhibition at Brookfield Social Club, Barrow-upon-Trent on Saturday 25th October 2014. The event was organised by DDAS member Brian Dodson and also in attendance and helping out were DDAS members Anthony Southwell, Bob Richardson, Mike Dumelow, Mike Lancaster, Barry Ashforth and Peter Branson.

Inside we mounted an impressive display on the society including many images taken by our members, information leaflets, books and posters, no less than three laptops, and two separate screens running astronomy and space related videos and presentations. We also had a couple of large meteorites loaned by Graham Ensor for the evening and Anthony Southwell had brought along his 6" Skywatcher Newtonian. Our society moon-globe took a prominent position and generated a lot of interest as it is signed by several of the Apollo astronauts and other luminaries from the world of space and astronomy.

Outside we had four telescopes set up. In the car park Mike Lancaster set up the society's 8" Meade LX90 telescope and Brian Dodson his impressive 5" Explore Scientific refractor. Meanwhile in the beer garden Mike Dumelow had brought along a superb Dobsonian telescope he had expertly built using the 8.5" mirror and flat donated to the society by our founder member Jane Kirk at our 40th anniversary celebration on the 21st June 2014 (the 'JK-40' telescope as Mike has called it). Also in the beer garden Bob Richardson set up his beautifully engineered 10" Newtonian and mount. Sadly though the evening remained too cloudy to do any observing whatsoever! As the late Sir Patrick Moore would say - 'oh blast'!

Despite the cloudy skies the event was very well attended. The exhibition in particular was quite busy for most of the evening, with many people popping outside to at least look at the array of telescopes if not actually through them. Our thanks go to Brookfield for being so accommodating. We have even been invited back! Let's hope for clearer skies next time!

All images copyright: Mike Lancaster.  If you would like to use any of these images please contact the .

The flyer we produced for the event can be seen here.