John Flamsteed Honoured by Blue Plaque - Wednesday 29th January 2014
Pictures by Ian Bennett. Words by Mike Lancaster.
DDAS members were invited to attend the unveiling of a blue plaque to local born astronomer John Flamsteed FRS, who in 1675 became the first Astronomer Royal, established the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, and went on to map the positions of around 3000 stars with unprecedented accuracy. The plaque marks the site of the house on Queen Street, Derby, that John Flamsteed inherited in 1688, which was occupied by the famous painter Joseph Wright a century later, who is also honoured on the same plaque. The site was later owned by the John Smith clockworks but is currently unoccupied. We joined members of the Derby Civic Society, Derby City Council and Derby Museum & Art Gallery for the ceremony. The ceremony itself consisted of speeches given by Derby Civic Society Chairman Alan Grimadell and Derby City Councillor and Heritage Champion Asaf Afzal. After the unveiling we all retired to Derby Museum & Art Gallery for tea and cake. In the Wright Gallery, Jonathan Wallis, Head of Museums & Museum and Art Gallery Development at Derby Museums Trust gave a short speech and there was an opportunity to view a copy of Flamsteed's Atlas Coelestis.
DDAS members and civic dignatories in front of the blue plaque on Queen Street, Derby. From left to right: Derby Civic Society Chairman Alan Grimadell, DDAS Secretary Anthony Southwell, DDAS Committee Member Mike Lancaster, DDAS Committee Member, Brian Dodson, DDAS Committee Member Bob Richardson, DDAS Member Barry Ashforth and Derby City Councillor and Heritage Champion Asaf Afzal.
Some pages from Flamsteed's Atlas Coelestis on display in Derby Museum & Art Gallery after the ceremony