Orwell Astronomical Society (Ipswich)

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Ipswich & District Astronomical Society (IDAS)

The Ipswich and District Astronomical Society (IDAS) was a precursor of OASI. It formed in 1950 and was active until mid-1957. IDAS undertook limited repair work at Orwell Park Observatory and members occasionally used the equatorial telescope there. This page records information about IDAS, its members and activities.

Material below has been sourced as follows:

Formation Of IDAS

Event

Source

30 Aug 1948

J C Chumley, secretary of Ipswich and District Natural History Society (IDNHS), visited Fulcher with a suggestion from R L T Clarkson, FRAS to form an astronomy section of IDNHS. Fulcher noted that "the prospects seem good if the attempt is made." (Clarkson was a prolific lunar observer. He was later to become first president of IDAS.)

19480830_DJF_008.png Fulcher's notebook, 30 Aug 1948.

04 Sep 1948

Chumley visited Fulcher again, after which the latter noted:

...it appears that there are good possibilities of astronomical section being formed. Clarkson agreed with the suggestions made by me regarding the constitution of the section, and Beaufoy, president of the Society, also agrees.
 
Invited to attend excursion of Society to Orwell Park School where a 10" Merz refractor is established.

19480830_DJF_008.png Fulcher's notebook, 04 Sep 1948.

08 Sep 1948

Fulcher had further discussions with Chumley about formation of an astronomy section of IDNHS. The former subsequently expressed frustration in his notebook with the rate of progress: "...but he [Chumley] won't be hurried and the project must await visit by Society to Orwell Park."

19480830_DJF_008.png Fulcher's notebook, 08 Sep 1948.

09 Oct 1948

Approximately 25 members of IDNHS spent an evening at Orwell Park Observatory. Mr N H Wilkinson (headmaster of Orwell Park School), Clarkson and Fulcher guided the party. The party observed Jupiter, its cloud belts and the Galileans, the Moon, star clusters and a double star with contrasting gold and blue colours (likely Albireo?) The visit was a great success and crystallised the idea of forming an Astronomical Section of IDNHS.

19481012 EADT EADT, 12 Oct 1948.

19 Oct 1948

At a Committee Meeting of IDNHS at Ipswich Museum, Chumley read a letter from Clarkson with a proposal to establish an Astronomical Section. The Committee instructed Chumley to call a public meeting to ascertain the level of support for an Astronomical Section, and further specified that the meeting was to be held in Ipswich Museum Lecture Room, to be advertised in the EADT and Evening Star and that people unable to attend should be asked to present their views in writing. Chumley relayed the news to Fulcher.

19481019 IDNHS committee minutes Minutes of IDNHS Committee Meeting, 10 Oct 1948.

19481015_DJF_011.png Fulcher's notebook, 19 Oct 1948.

13 Nov 1948

At a Committee Meeting of IDNHS, Chumley reported that he had arranged a public meeting to ascertain whether an Astronomical Section would be viable and that notices of the meeting had appeared in the EADT and Evening Star.

19481113 EADT EADT, 13 Nov 1948.

19481113 IDNHS committee minutes Minutes of IDNHS Committee Meeting, 13 Nov 1948.

14 Nov 1948

Chumley called on Fulcher, clearly delighted with the press coverage of the proposed formation of the astronomical section of IDNHS.

19481028_DJF_012.png Fulcher's notebook, 14 Nov 1948.

20 Nov 1948

The public meeting arranged by Chumley was held in Ipswich Museum Lecture Room, chaired by Clarkson. Thirty people expressed an interest in joining an Astronomical Section if one were formed and 12 letters of support were received. The meeting unanimously decided to ask IDNHS to form an Astronomical Section and elected Fulcher prospective leader of the new section. Officers of IDNHS present at the meeting agreed that members who wished to enrol in the new Section should do so subject to confirmation at the next IDNHS Annual Meeting. The meeting agreed the following in regard of the Astronomical Section:

Amusingly, Fulcher noted: "Self appointed section leader, must get that title changed to section secretary as it bears too close a resemblance to H M Army!"

19481123 EADT EADT, 23 Nov 1948.

19481123 ES Evening Star, 23 Nov 1948.

19481028_DJF_012.png Fulcher's notebook, 20 Nov 1948.

29 Nov 1948

Fulcher attended the first Committee Meeting of IDNHS following the public meeting on 20 Nov 1948. Chumley read a lengthy report on the meeting from Clarkson. The Committee agreed to form an Astronomical Section subject to approval at the next Annual Meeting and suggested that Fulcher, as honorary secretary of the Astronomical Section, be co-opted onto the IDNHS Committee. Motion proposed by Mr H E J Spencer, seconded by Chumley.

19481129 IDNHS Committee Minutes Minutes of IDNHS Committee Meeting, 29 Nov 1948.

18 Dec 1948

The first meeting of the astronomy section of IDNHS, held prior to the official formation of the body, was a great success, with 38 people in attendance. Clarkson gave a talk on the winter constellations and forthcoming events in January were noted. The section had close to 50 members.

19481215_DJF_014.png Fulcher's notebook, 18 Dec 1948.

15 Jan 1949

IDNHS held its 25th Annual Meeting. The meeting, held in Ipswich Museum, was well attended, and chaired by Mr D Beaufoy, retiring president. It was reported that at the public meeting held on 20 Nov 1948, 30 people had expressed an interest in joining an Astronomical Section of IDNHS if one were formed. The meeting approved the formation of the Astronomical Section and officers of IDNHS advised that members who wished to enrol in it should do so pending approval from IDNHS. Motion proposed by Spencer, seconded by Mr D G Porter. The meeting confirmed Fulcher as honorary secretary of the Astronomical Section. (There was discussion of forming other sections of IDNHS too, for example Geology, Botany and Architecture!)

19490115 p1 IDNHS ann mtg mins Minutes of IDNHS Annual Meeting, 15 Jan 1949, p1.

19490115 p2 IDNHS ann mtg mins P2.

14 Dec 1949

At a Committee Meeting of IDNHS, Fulcher gave his views on the Astronomical Section and Mr Spencer dealt with finances of the Section. The meeting requested Fulcher to determine whether members of the Astronomical Section wished the Section to separate from IDNHS (the Committee would accept the results of a postal ballot). Motion proposed by Spencer, seconded by Mr Brinkley.

19491214 IDNHS Committee Minutes Minutes of IDNHS Committee Meeting, 14 Dec 1949.

14 Jan 1950

At the 26th Annual Meeting of IDNHS, at Ipswich Museum Lecture Room, Fulcher reported the results of a postal ballot to ascertain the view of the membership of the Astronomical Section on forming a separate society. Forty members were in favour and three against. The Committee agreed that the Astronomical Section of IDNHS be wound up. Motion proposed by Mr Hervey and seconded by Spencer. The President of IDNHS, Mr S C Porter, wished every success to the new Astronomical Society which duly formed on 21 January 1950.

19500114 p1 IDNHS ann mtg mins Minutes of IDNHS Annual Meeting, 14 Jan 1950, p1.

19500114 p2 IDNHS ann mtg mins P2.

Activities And Publications

Initially, IDAS thrived. During 1951, an IDAS film show was attended by over 100 people and by the end of 1951 membership had grown to 91. Membership fees started at 3/6 per annum and rose to 7/6 by the late 1950s. Total income during the early 1950s was approximately £50 per annum (a considerable sum in those days!)

IDAS organised activities including:

The decline of IDAS began in September 1955, when the honorary secretary, Mr C R Munford, left the district and the Society was unable to attract anyone to fill the post. Without an honorary secretary, IDAS was unable to run a full programme of events, membership gradually declined, and in mid-1957 the Society ceased to function. Several members of IDAS later joined OASI.

The following table catalogues in greater detail the initial flourishing of IDAS, the events that it organised, and the eventual decline of the Society.
 

Activity / Publication

Source

20 Jan 1949, Astronomical Section meeting

At the second meeting of the IDNHS Astronomical Section, at Ipswich Museum, Fulcher presented a talk on the Solar System, illustrated by an epidiascope, as he put it "to cover deficiencies as a lecturer"! The meeting was reported in the local press.

19490120_DJF_017.png Fulcher's notebook, 20 Jan 1949.

19490125 EADT EADT, 25 Jan 1949.

05 Feb 1949, visit to Orwell Park Observatory

The Astronomical Section visited Orwell Park Observatory to use the equatorial refractor. Members observed the Moon, Saturn, the Orion Nebula and comet 1948l.

19490205_DJF_019.png Fulcher's notebook, 05 Feb 1949.

08 Feb 1949, visit to Orwell Park Observatory

The Astronomical Section visited Orwell Park Observatory again just three days later. On this occasion there was considerable haze and members observed the Moon and Saturn.

19490205_DJF_019.png Fulcher's notebook, 08 Feb 1949.

05 Sep 1949, visit to watch TV broadcast about the Moon

Members of the Astronomical Section visited D Vaughan to watch a television broadcast about the Moon with commentary by Dr Hunter of the RGO. Fulcher found the talk interesting although there was cloud over the Moon and interference caused trouble with TV reception. The viewers then used a fixed Newtonian telescope with a coelostat to observe craters on the Moon.

19490820_DJF_027.png Fulcher's notebook, 05 Sep 1949.

14 Dec 1949, report of bright object near the Moon

Fulcher noted that Aimey, a fellow member of the Astronomical Section, had reported at the section meeting on 17 December 1949, a bright object near the Moon. Fulcher was dismissive, putting the object down most probably as a meteorological balloon.

19491210_DJF_033.png Fulcher's notebook, 19 Dec 1949.

18 Feb 1950, visit to Orwell Park for maintenance

Three members of IDAS, Fulcher, W Weston and Norman Watling, visited Orwell Park Observatory to undertake maintenance on the equatorial refractor. Fulcher expressed the hope to get the telescope drive working properly and improve the instrument generally. He noted that the three discovered a "considerable amount of auxiliary equipment... including micrometers".

In the evening, IDAS held its second meeting. Membership of the Society stood at 46.

19500211_DJF_037.png Fulcher's notebook, 18 Feb 1950.

18 Mar 1950, Society meeting

Fifty-eight people attended a meeting of IDAS on 18 March 1950. Eight new members joined, bringing total membership to 64.

19500320_DJF_041.png Fulcher's notebook, 20 Mar 1950.

02 Apr 1950, star party

A star party was held on the evening of a total lunar eclipse on 02 April 1950.

19500328_DJF_043.png Fulcher's notebook, 02 Apr 1950.

19 Apr 1950, exhibit at model engineers' annual show

The Ipswich model engineers invited IDAS to contribute an exhibition to their annual show. Fulcher complained that the space available was very limited, but that IDAS nonetheless managed to exhibit photographs, drawings, telescopes, cameras, mirrors and pitch laps. It was a full-time job keeping visitors' fingers off telescope mirrors!

19500419_DJF_048.png Fulcher's notebook, 19 Apr 1950.

13 May 1950, visit to Cambridge University Observatory

A party of 24 members of IDAS visited Cambridge on 13 May 1950. The visit started in Heffers bookshop in the morning and in the afternoon went to the University Observatory, where M W Ovenden (who months later lectured to members of IDAS on extra-mural courses), hosted a tour. At the Observatory, the visitors toured the main telescopes and observed the Sun with a spectrohelioscope.

19500511_DJF_053.png Fulcher's notebook, 13 May 1950.

01 Sep 1950, observing at Orwell Park Observatory

On 01 September 1950, three members of IDAS, Fulcher, C R Munford and Norman Watling, observed with the Orwell Park equatorial refractor. They concluded that the object glass showed evidence of slight astigmatism and definite zonal aberration. Conditions for observing were unusually worrisome, as a rabbit-shoot was taking place in the grounds at the time - fortunately, the three were not troubled by any wild shots!

19500827_DJF_069.png Fulcher's notebook, 01 Sep 1950.

02 Sep 1950, observing at Orwell Park Observatory

Fulcher returned to Orwell Park one day later with Norman Watling and W Weston. They observed M11, M13, M57 and the Moon.

19500827_DJF_069.png Fulcher's notebook, 02 Sep 1950.

28 Oct 1950, star party

Fifteen members of IDAS attended a star party. Those present observed the Moon, Jupiter, double stars, M31 and M57.

19501023_DJF_074.png Fulcher's notebook, 28 Oct 1950.

11 Nov 1950, star party

M W Ovenden from Cambridge delivered a talk to IDAS on modern observational methods then stayed the night at Fulcher's house, where the two observed until 2.00am.

19501105_DJF_075.png Fulcher's notebook, 11 Nov 1950, p1.

19501111_DJF_076.png P2.

Dec 1950, report to BAA

Fulcher wrote a description of IDAS and its activities in the December 1950 Journal of the BAA (pp.25-26). He described the main aim of the society as "to bring astronomy to those whose interest lies on the fringe of the science". Membership was 66, spanning ages from eight to 80, with only five who were also members of the BAA. Although prominent astronomers addressed some meetings, most speakers were from within IDAS. Regular star parties were held at members' homes and at Orwell Park Observatory. Telescopes were available for loan to members. Visits had been organised to Greenwich and Cambridge University observatories. Members had ground mirrors and constructed telescopes. IDAS had started a library. The annual subscription was 5/-.

195012_JBAA_25.png JBAA, Dec 1950, p.25.

195012_JBAA_26.png JBAA, Dec 1950, p.26.

06 Jan 1951, AGM

The AGM was held, followed by the showing of two films: "Explosions on the Sun" and "The Cinema and Astrophysics". Membership on 31 December was 67.

19510107_DJF_079b.png Fulcher's notebook, 07 Jan 1951.

16-17 Feb 1951, star party

IDAS held a star party at Fulcher's house over two nights. The first was "mainly clouded out" but the second was much better and had a good attendance. After the star party, K E Cuthbert and Fulcher continued observing until 06:00 UT, studying the following objects: Saturn, Neptune, R Leo, S Boo, T Cas, R Lyn, field of Χ Cyg (variable itself too faint and not seen), M13, M57, Comet 1951a and lunar features Proclus, Gassendi A, Apennine Highlands, Sinus Iridium, the "Messier Comet" crater and Archimedes. (Note that some three years later, Gassendi A was renamed in Clarkson's honour.)

19510209_DJF_083.png Fulcher's notebook, 17 Feb 1951, p1.

19510217_DJF_084.png P2.

19510217_DJF_085.png P3.

03 Mar 1951, exhibition meeting

IDAS held an exhibition meeting.

19510303_DJF_087.png Fulcher's notebook, 03 Mar 1951.

14 Apr 1951, visit to Cambridge

IDAS visited Cambridge, spending the morning in Heffers bookshop and the afternoon viewing the University Observatory instruments with M W Ovenden as guide. In the evening, the party was joined at the Observatory by Dr Stevenson, and used the Thorrowgood Refractor, the Northumberland Refractor and the 910 mm reflector, the latter fully resolving stars in the globular cluster M3.

19510328_DJF_089.png Fulcher's notebook, 14 Apr 1951.

30 May 1951, history of astronomy in Suffolk

IDAS was compiling a history of astronomy in Suffolk. Fulcher talked to Miss Brown of the BAA about obtaining names of members of the Association who had resided in the county.

19510524_DJF_092.png Fulcher's notebook, 30 May 1951.

02 Jun 1951, bright fireball

A bright fireball was visible from Suffolk. Fulcher called in the local press for observing reports so that the path of the object could be calculated.

19510605_DJF_094.png Fulcher's notebook, 06 Jun 1951, p1.

19510606_DJF_095.png P2.

Late June 1951, observatory

Photographs in Fulcher's notebook showing, amongst other items, his home observatory at 19 Gloucester Road, Ipswich, his 8¼" reflector and the 7" reflector of IDAS member W Weston.

195106_DJF_097.png Fulcher's notebook, late June 1951.

07-08 Sep 1951, star party

IDAS held a two-night star part at Fulcher's house. Unfortunately, the weather was not favourable and only two people attended.

19510901_DJF_104.png Fulcher's notebook, 08 Sep 1951.

15-16 Sep 1951, film show

As a preliminary to the following month's Cambridge University Extension course of lectures on astronomy, on 15 September 1951, IDAS arranged a film show at the Ipswich Art Gallery. Following the show, W H White, Professor of Astronomy at Saskatchewan University, Canada (and a native of Ipswich) presented a telescope to the society and talked about problems during construction of the 5 m Palomar reflector. The following day, he visited Fulcher's home, together with IDAS members A W Goodwin and W Weston, for tea and "much talk on astronomical matters".

19510901_DJF_104.png Fulcher's notebook, 15 Sep 1951.

19510916_DJF_105.png Fulcher's notebook, 16 Sep 1951.

21 Sep 1951, star party

IDAS held a star party but, unfortunately, despite a clear sky, only two people attended.

19510916_DJF_105.png Fulcher's notebook, 22 Sep 1951.

Late 1951, course on astronomy and astrophysics

Syllabus and book list for Cambridge University extra-mural course on astronomy and astrophysics. Tutor: M W Ovenden, MA, BSc, FRAS. Course meetings Wednesdays 03 Oct - 19 Dec 1951 at Ipswich Museum Lecture Hall. Syllabus:

Following the third lesson on 17 October, Ovenden stayed the night at Fulcher's home and the two observed lunar occultation of five stars in the Pleiades.

1951 CUEM syllabus.jpg Details of Cambridge University extra-mural board courses.

19510916_DJF_105.png Fulcher's notebook, 17 Oct 1951.

Dec 1951 IDAS News-sheet #9

IDAS AGM 05 Jan 1952, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Films will be shown after formal business: Ermites du Ciel, Hurricane Circuit and International Ice Patrol.

From honorary secretary’s report:

1951 Dec news-sheet #9, p1 News-sheet #9, Dec 1951, p1.

1951 Dec news-sheet #9, p2 P2.

Jan 1952? excursion programme

Programme for excursion to Cambridge, Sat 10 May 1952. Attendees divided into two parties. Programme: Newmarket, Heffers Bookshop, Kings College Chapel, Fitzwilliam Museum, Whipple Museum, University Observatories.

1952 Jan excursion Cambridge Excursion programme.

Feb 1952 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: illustrated talk by Mr A W Goodwin (later IDAS Chairman), Sat 01 Mar 1952, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room.

Next star party: Orwell Park Observatory, 14 & 15 Mar 1952. Attendance at star parties at own risk.

Gap in Newsletters due to honorary secretary's spell in hospital.

Annual subscriptions due.

In the last two years, IDAS ran a series of lectures, with a schoolroom atmosphere. Although membership is now at its highest level since formation, the lectures were not well attended. IDAS cannot afford to pay for visiting lecturers. Honorary secretary believes that IDAS will succeed only if it develops into a friendly group of people with diverse interests in astronomy, meeting to discuss astronomical matters and undertaking observations.

IDAS facilities: loan telescopes, circulation of astronomical publications and library. Can provide assistance to those learning to observe. Telescope constructors’ group.

Night sky.

Signed: DJF (D J Fulcher).

1952 Feb Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Feb 1952, p1.

1952 Feb Star-gazer, p2 P2.

14-15 Mar 1952, star party

IDAS held a two-night star party at Orwell Park Observatory. Seeing was "exceptionally good" on the first night but less good on the second. The shutter of the dome gave considerable trouble and Fulcher worried that unless repairs were effected, the observatory might become inoperable.

19520314_DJF_111.png Fulcher's notebook, 14-15 Mar 1952.

22 Mar 1952, committee meeting

A committee meeting was followed by a short demonstration session.

19520314_DJF_111.png Fulcher's notebook, 22 Mar 1952.

Apr 1952 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: discussion meeting, Sat 29 Mar 1952, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room.

Next star party: D W Fulcher’s home, 17 & 18 Apr 1952.

Annual subscriptions due: 5/- adult, 2/6 junior.

Lengthy discussion at last meeting about how to conduct future meetings of IDAS. Discussion meetings with short talks by members a popular option.

New book published: Radio Astronomy by Bernard Lovell & J A Clegg.

Night sky.

Request more material for The Star-gazer.

1952 Apr Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Apr 1952, p1.

1952 Apr Star-gazer, p2 P2.

May 1952 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: discussion meeting, Sat 03 May 1952, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room.

List of members attending Cambridge Excursion, Sat 10 May 1952. Will visit Whipple Museum and observatories.

Next star party: D W Fulcher’s home, 30 & 31 May 1952.

Repair work at Orwell Park Observatory, 17 & 24 May 1952.

Night sky.

Signed: DJF (D J Fulcher).

In his notebook, Fulcher gave a brief description of the visit to Cambridge. The event began as usual at Heffers and other bookshops and then moved on to the Whipple Museum. Later, M W Ovenden conducted the party around the University Observatory but cloud cover at night meant that observing was not possible.

1952 May Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, May 1952, p1.

1952 May Star-gazer, p2 P2.

19520429_DJF_114.png Fulcher's notebook, 10 May 1952, p1.

19520510_DJF_115.png P2.

Sep 1952 The Star-gazer

Repair and redecoration at Orwell Park Observatory completed 06 Sep 1952.

Orwell Park Observatory open to members of IDAS every Saturday 20 Sep – 20 Dec 1952. Trained members needed to open the Observatory.

Autumn meetings: 04 Oct, 01 Nov, 06 Dec 1952, 03 Jan 1953 (AGM). Each will consist of a short talk on a constellation prominent during the month followed by items on general astronomy and telescope construction.

Cambridge University extension course every Friday 16 Jan – 27 Mar 1953 inclusive, except 13 Feb, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Mr D W Dewhirst (Director, BAA Solar Section, and authority on Mars) takes over from Mr Ovenden.

Subscription to Sky & Telescope for 1953: 3/-. Librarian: Mr Cuthbert.

For telescope hire contact Mr Bodsworth.

Night sky.

1952 Sep Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Sep 1952, p1.

1952 Sep Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Oct 1952 The Star-gazer

3/- subscriptions for Sky & Telescope due to Librarian.

Telescope hire: C Munford taking over from W T Bodsworth who wishes to retire. Waiting list for telescopes has reduced.

Orwell Park Observatory open to members of IDAS on 11, 18 & 25 Oct 1952.

Next meeting of IDAS: Sat 04 Oct 1952, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room.

Mr H A Johnson, retired master mariner living in Capel St Mary, founder member of IDAS, deceased.

Night sky.

1952 Oct Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Oct 1952, p1.

1952 Oct Star-gazer, p2 P2.

05 Oct 1952, status of Orwell Park Observatory

In his notebook on 05 October 1952, Fulcher noted that members of IDAS had completed overhauling the Orwell Park equatorial refractor and its dome and the instrument was in use once a week. Although an IDAS meeting the previous evening had been attended by 22 people, numbers were falling and Fulcher expected the society eventually to settle down to a small band of enthusiasts.

19521005_DJF_125.png Fulcher's notebook, 05 Oct 1952.

Nov 1952 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: Sat 01 Nov 1952, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room.

Star parties at secretary’s observatory discontinued due to low attendance but members welcome to use secretary’s instruments by appointment.

Orwell Park Observatory open to members of IDAS on 08, 15, 22 & 29 Nov 1952.

Members of IDAS unwilling to take responsibility for operating Orwell Park Refractor. Use restricted to members known to be capable of operating the Refractor. List of members authorised to use the Orwell Park refractor.

Night sky.

1952 Nov Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Nov 1952, p1.

1952 Nov Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Dec 1952 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: Sat 06 Dec 1952, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room.

Shutter of Orwell Park Observatory blown open in recent gale – rain flooded dome and telescope, but no lasting damage done.

AGM: Sat 03 Jan 1953, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Will hold small exhibition at AGM.

Bright fireball seen recently over Ipswich.

Secretary observed occultation of Pleiades 30 Nov 1952.

Night sky.

Sky & Telescope circulation scheme.

1952 Dec Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Dec 1952, p1.

1952 Dec Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Jan 1953? notice of excursion on 25 Apr 1953

Excursion to Framlingham Castle, Harleston, Bungay, Beccles, Fritton & Gorleston. Adults 8/-, under 16 years 4/-.

Annual subscriptions due: adults 5/-, juniors not over 16 years 2/6.

Attendance register started for Orwell park Observatory.

1953 Jan excursion programme Excursion programme.

Jan 1953 notice of AGM

IDAS AGM 03 Jan 1953, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room.

Statement of accounts – total income £50.07.08½.

From honorary secretary’s report:

University Extension Course in Astronomy to be held in Ipswich Museum Lecture Room, Fridays in Jan, Feb, Mar 1953. Lecturer: D J Schove, BSc, Principal of St David’s College, London. Charge per session: 1/- for non-members, 6d for adult members, 3d for juniors.

1953 Jan AGM notice, p1 Notice of 1953 AGM, p1.

1953 Jan AGM notice, p2 P2.

Jan-Mar 1953, details of Cambridge University extra-mural course on astronomy and associated sciences.

Syllabus, book list and lecture notes for Cambridge University Extra-Mural ("Extension") Course in Astronomy & Associated Sciences, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Lecturer: D Justin Schove, BSc, MRST, FRMetS.

Details of each lecture:


In his notebook for 18 January 1953, Fulcher expressed dissatisfaction with the course and commented that it appeared "not to have too rosy prospects": it had suffered from a lack of publicity due to various delays, and he was unimpressed with the lecturer!

1953 CUEM syllabus, p1 CUEM syllabus, p1.

1953 Jan CUEM syllabus, p2 P2.

19521128_DJF_126.png Fulcher's notebook, 18 Jan 1953.

Jan 1953 The Star-gazer

University Extension Course to be held in Ipswich Museum Lecture Room, Fridays in January. Subject on 16 Jan 1953 is The Aurora.

Only 13 applications received for excursion in Apr 1953. Minimum 30 needed to proceed.

Members requested to pay subs ASAP.

Night sky. (Including lunar eclipse 29/30 Jan; transit of Mercury 14 Nov, occultation of Uranus 01 Oct.)

1953 Jan Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Jan 1953, p1.

1953 Jan Star-gazer, p2 P2.

20 Feb 1953 press cutting

Letters to the press by members of IDAS: D J Fulcher on Mars and J C Barbrook on Space Travel.

19530220 press cutting Press cutting, 20 Feb 1953.

24 Feb 1953 press cutting

Brief notice by D J Fulcher in the press advising of a special meeting of IDAS to discuss interplanetary travel, Sat 28 Mar 1953, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. All readers invited to participate.

19530224 press cutting Press cutting, 24 Feb 1953.

Mar 1953 The Star-gazer

Special meeting of IDAS to discuss interplanetary travel: Sat 28 Mar 1953, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room.

IDAS has two telescopes for loan from C R Munford at 2/6 for 6 weeks.

Excursion to Gorleston postponed to Sat 09 May 1953.

Sky & Telescope circulation scheme working too slowly.

Orwell Park refractor available for use by trained members of IDAS. R L T Clarkson has drafted a programme of serious observational work to undertake with the instrument.

Last lecture in University Extension Course by Mr D J Schove, Fri 27 Mar 1953. Intend to arrange for Mr Dewhirst of Cambridge University Observatories to lead a course in Autumn 1953.

Annual subscriptions 5/- for adults and 2/6 for juniors now due.

Night sky.

1953 Mar Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Mar 1953, p1.

1953 Mar Star-gazer, p2 P2.

May 1953 The Star-gazer

Committee meeting 08 May 1953, 10 Avondale Road, Ipswich (Mr A W Goodwin's home).

Members not paying subscriptions by June are deemed to have left IDAS. Subscriptions are 5/- for adults and 2/6 for juniors with 1/- joining fee.

Only a short waiting list for loan telescopes. Loan fee 2/6 for 6 weeks.

Excursion to Gorleston cancelled due to lack of support.

Fee 3/- for participation in IDAS circulation of Sky & Telescope and BAA publications.

BAA appeal for astronomical material to benefit scout troup.

Orwell Park Observatory open to members of IDAS on Saturday evenings. Only approved members permitted to use Orwell Park refractor. Organised visits to Orwell Park discontinued, but may be resumed if demand later in the year. President of IDAS has written a note describing observations possible with Orwell Park refractor.

Night sky.

1953 May Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, May 1953, p1.

1953 May Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Jul 1953 The Star-gazer

Circulation scheme for Sky & Telescope not operating well so being reorganised. Joining fee increasing to 5/-.

IDAS committee discussing erection of an observatory with 8" or 10" reflector. Call for expressions of interest from members.

No University Extension Course during winter 1953/54.

During Winter 1953/54, IDAS hopes to arrange one or two formal lectures and an astronomical film evening in addition to usual discussion evenings.

Ipswich library now holds biographies of two eminent astronomers: Ninth Astronomer Royal and Jeans.

Astronomy for Everyman reviewed in the Journal of the BAA.

Reprints of Photography and the Amateur Astronomer available.

Night sky and astronomy news.

Telescopes for loan from C R Munford at 2/6 for 6 weeks. BAA 5¼" Steinheil refractor previously on loan to secretary now on loan to C R Munford.

For sale: astro-camera (£3.10.0) and antique sextant (£1.0.0).

1953 Jul Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Jul 1953, p1.

1953 Jul Star-gazer, p2 P2.

19 Sep 1953 notice of meetings

IDAS lecture meeting, 26 Sep 1953, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room, Professor W H White, Saskatchewan University, The Big Observatories Of North America.

IDAS film meeting, 17 Oct 1953, Ipswich Art Gallery. Programme: High Altitude Research, Grinding a 98" Telescope Mirror, The Moon, Ermites du Ciel, Jupiter, Explosions on the Sun.

Signed: AWG – KEC (A W Goodwin - K E Cuthbert).

19530919 notice of meetings Notice of meetings, 19 Sep 1953.

Oct 1953 The Star-gazer

IDAS film meeting, 17 Oct 1953, Ipswich Art Gallery. Programme: Grinding a 98" Telescope Mirror, Ermites du Ciel, The Moon, Le Cinema et l’Astrophysique, Jupiter, Explosions on the Sun, High Altitude Research. Open to public, collection at door, IDAS exhibition.

IDAS meetings at Ipswich Museum Lecture Room: 07 Nov, 05 Dec 1953, 02 Jan 1954 (AGM), 06 Feb, 06 Mar, 03 Apr.

IDAS has two telescopes for loan from C R Munford at 2/6 for 6 weeks.

Orwell Park Observatory open to members of IDAS on Saturday evenings.

Ipswich Library well stocked with astronomy books. Three recent additions: The Planets by H C Urey, The Expansion Of The Universe by Paul Couderc, The Creation Of The Universe by George Gamow.

IDAS has modest library. Librarian: Mr K E Cuthbert.

Night sky. Transit of Mercury on 14 Nov 1953.

Signed: DJF (D J Fulcher).

1953 Oct Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Oct 1953, p1.

1953 Oct Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Nov 1953 The Star-gazer

Forthcoming meetings of IDAS at Ipswich Museum Lecture Room:

IDAS affiliated to BAA. Two tickets available for members to attend BAA meetings.

Annual income of IDAS just covers expenditure. Committee considering raising subscription to 10/- and 5/- and seeking opinions of members on the matter.

Will restart programme of monthly star parties at Orwell Park Observatory on Sat 21 Nov 1953.

Loan telescopes available to members from C R Munford.

IDAS film meeting 17 Oct 1953 very successful: attended by 150 people!

Officers of IDAS.

Signed: DJF (D J Fulcher).

1953 Nov Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Nov 1953, p1.

1953 Nov Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Dec 1953 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: Sat 05 Dec 1953, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Programme:

Committee meeting Sat 12 Dec 1953.

Star Party, Orwell Park Observatory, Sat 19 Dec 1953.

IDAS library holds Handbook of the BAA for 1954.

AGM Sat 02 Jan 1954: IDAS business plus two films - The Story of Palomar and High Altitude Research.

Night sky.

Signed: DJF (D J Fulcher).

1953 Dec Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Dec 1953, p1.

1953 Dec Star-gazer, p2 P2.

27 Dec 1953 press cutting

Press cutting from The Sunday Express relating to H Percy Wilkins' discovery of the so-called bridge on the Moon. The bridge was thought to be a natural feature resembling an artificial bridge joining the rims of two eroded craters on the western rim of Mare Crisium. The discovery was later relayed in The Star-gazer. (The feature is nowadays thought to consist of eroded crater rims, resembling a bridge under certain lighting conditions.)

19531227 lunar bridge Lunar bridge, Sunday Express 27 Dec 1953.

Late 1953 prospectus

The objectives of IDAS are: the association for mutual help of persons interested in Astronomy, the encouragement of a popular interest in the science, and the encouragement of active observing and the construction of astronomical equipment.

Meetings held monthly, Oct – Apr inclusive, on Saturdays at the Ipswich Museum Lecture Room.

BAA publications and Sky & Telescope are available to members. IDAS is developing its own library.

Members of IDAS have constructed reflecting telescopes of up to 9" aperture.

Three telescopes are available for loan to members.

Orwell Park Observatory is open to members of IDAS on Saturday evenings.

Annual subscription: 10/- for adults and 5/- for juniors (not exceeding 16 years).

Further information from honorary secretary, Mr D J Fulcher.

Prospectus, late 1953 Prospectus, late 1953.

Jan 1954 notice of AGM

IDAS AGM 02 Jan 1954, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room.

Statement of accounts – total income £49.11.09.

1954 Jan AGM notice Notice of 1954 AGM.

Feb 1954 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: Sat 06 Feb 1954, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Talk by E H Collinson, FRAS, BAA President, The Planet Mars. Will also discuss potential to construct an IDAS observatory in Ipswich, due to difficulties of members visiting Orwell Park Observatory. The IDAS observatory could be made available to the people of Ipswich for educational use. IDAS members would need to undertake construction of the observatory and of a telescope (probably a 10" reflector).

Subscriptions: 7/6 adult; 3/6 junior. 1/- joining fee abolished.

IDAS accounts under audit.

Officers and committee of IDAS re-elected.

Future AGMs to be held in Feb, to give time for accounts to be audited.

New members joining IDAS on or after 01 Oct retain membership until end of the following year.

Star Party, Orwell Park Observatory, Sat 20 Feb 1954.

IDAS Mar 1954 meeting will include talk by D W Dewhirst (Cambridge University Observatories) on The Surface of the Sun.

Signed: DJF (D J Fulcher).

1954 Feb Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Feb 1954, p1.

1954 Feb Star-gazer, p2 P2.

13 Feb 1954 press cutting

Press cuttings relating to H Percy Wilkins and the discovery of the so-called bridge on the Moon. The discovery was later relayed in The Star-gazer.

19540213 lunar bridge, p.1 Lunar bridge, Illustrated, 13 Feb 1954, p1.

19540213 lunar bridge, p.2 P2.

Mar 1954 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: Sat 06 Mar 1954, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Talk by Mr D W Dewhirst (Cambridge University Observatories), The Surface of the Sun.

IDAS meeting 06 Feb 1954 approved proposals to establish an observatory in Ipswich. Plans being prepared for a 12" equatorially mounted reflector and housing of circa 30 square feet to be constructed by members. Will seek approval of Borough Council, possibly on basis of creating a town observatory available for educational purposes.

Lunar crater Gassendi A renamed Clarkson (after IDAS President).

Location of lunar bridge observed by Dr Percy Wilkins, BAA Lunar Section Director.

Night sky.

Subscriptions due.

1954 Mar Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Mar 1954, p1.

1954 Mar Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Apr 1954 The Star-gazer

Planned IDAS meeting 03 Apr 1954 cancelled. (First meeting to be cancelled.)

IDAS committee meeting Sat 10 Apr 1954, 10 Avondale Road, Ipswich.

Subscriptions due. Membership terminated if subscription not paid by June. Subscriptions 7/6 adult; 3/6 junior.

IDAS news-sheet will continue during summer months.

Details of discovery by H Percy Wilkins of the "lunar bridge".

IDAS library.

BAA Exhibition Meeting Wed 28 Apr 1954.

Night sky. Comet 1953g.

Three telescopes available for loan to members.

1954 Apr Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Apr 1954, p1.

1954 Apr Star-gazer, p2 P2.

September 1954, programme for winter

IDAS meetings, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room, Saturdays: 02 Oct, 30 Oct, 27 Nov, 18 Dec 1954, 15 Jan, 12 Feb, 05 Mar 1955. Details as follows:

Subscriptions due. No further reminders to be sent. Subscription 7/6 adult.

Secretary D J Fulcher recently moved house resulting in disruption to production of The Star-gazer. Mr C R Munford acting as joint secretary for interim period.

IDAS has telescopes for loan from C R Munford at 2/6 for 6 weeks.

Signed CRM (C R Munford).

1954 Sep Programme Programme for winter 1954-55, Sep 1954.

Sep 1954 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: Sat 02 Oct 1954, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Will include slideshow of images from Mount Palomar – observations from Mount Palomar have recently doubled the distance scale of the universe.

Meeting of IDAS on Sat 30 Oct 1954 will include lecture by Dr A C Gee of Lowestoft on his time on the June 1953 eclipse expedition to Sweden.

Cost 5/- to join IDAS circulation list for Sky & Telescope.

IDAS has telescopes for loan from C R Munford at 2/6 for 6 weeks.

Night sky and astronomy news.

Signed CRM (C R Munford).

1954 Sep Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Sep 1954, p1.

1954 Sep Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Oct 1954 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: Sat 30 Oct 1954, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Will include lecture by Dr A C Gee of Lowestoft on his time on the June 1953 eclipse expedition to Sweden.

At IDAS meeting 27 Nov 1954, hope to show film The Night Sky which describes how to recognise the constellations.

Hope to form telescope construction group within IDAS – response slip included to express interest in joining group.

Night sky and astronomy news.

IDAS has telescopes for loan from C R Munford at 2/6 for 6 weeks.

Cost 5/- to join IDAS circulation list for Sky & Telescope.

Signed CRM (C R Munford).

1954 Oct Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Oct 1954, p1.

1954 Oct Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Nov 1954 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: 27 Nov 1954, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Will show film The Night Sky which describes how to recognise the constellations.

At IDAS meeting 18 Dec 1954, will show film The Sun and Other Stars.

Little support for proposed telescope construction group within IDAS – will abandon idea unless more support forthcoming.

Night sky and astronomy news.

IDAS has telescopes for loan from C R Munford at 2/6 for 6 weeks.

Signed CRM (C R Munford).

1954 Nov Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Nov 1954, p1.

1954 Nov Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Dec 1954 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: 18 Dec 1954, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Will show film The Sun and Other Stars.

IDAS meeting 15 Jan 1955 TBC.

Night sky and astronomy news.

Use of IDAS library free to members. Books are "mostly old", but the library also holds copies of the Journal of the BAA and Sky & Telescope.

IDAS has telescopes for loan at 2/6 for 6 weeks.

Signed CRM (C R Munford).

1954 Dec Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Dec 1954, p1.

1954 Dec Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Jan 1955 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: 15 Jan 1955, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Lecture by Dr D W Dewhirst, Interstellar Matter.

IDAS AGM 12 Feb 1955. Hope to show film Exploring the Universe after the formal business.

IDAS committee meeting 29 Jan 1955, 10 Avondale Road, Ipswich (A W Goodwin's home).

Mr D J Fulcher now settled into new home.

Subscriptions due: 7/6 adult, 3/6 junior.

Night sky and astronomy news.

IDAS has telescopes for loan at 2/6 for 6 weeks. No waiting list.

1955 Jan Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Jan 1955, p1.

1955 Jan Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Feb 1955 The Star-gazer

IDAS AGM: 12 Feb 1955, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Will show film Comets & Meteors by C A Ronan after AGM business. Statement of accounts: total income £53.05.05.

IDAS meeting 05 Mar 1955. Hope to show films Exploring the Universe, The Solar Family, The Moon.

Star Party, Orwell Park Observatory, 26 Feb 1955.

IDAS excursion to University Observatories, Cambridge, 26 Mar 1955 (TBC).

IDAS library being reorganised. Selling surplus books. Seeking permission to house library in Ipswich Museum.

Sky & Telescope to be circulated to members in future free of charge.

IDAS has telescopes for loan to members for periods of 6 weeks at no charge.

Subscriptions due: 7/6 adult, 3/6 junior.

Night sky.

Signed CRM (C R Munford).

1955 Feb Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Feb 1955, p1.

1955 Feb Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Feb 1955 press report of AGM

Charge for loan telescopes abolished.

Plan to visit Cambridge University Observatory in February 1955? and expand IDAS library.

Mr E H Collinson elected as IDAS President. List of other elected officers.

1955 Feb press report Press report of AGM, Feb 1955.

Mar 1955 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: 05 Mar 1955. Will show films Exploring the Universe, The Solar Family, The Moon.

Officers and committee elected at AGM. New president is E H Collinson, FRAS, former President of the BAA.

Subscriptions due: 7/6 adult, 3/6 junior.

Places still left on IDAS excursion to University Observatories, Cambridge, 26 Mar 1955.

Night sky and astronomy news.

1955 Mar Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Mar 1955, p1.

1955 Mar Star-gazer, p2 P2.

May 1955 The Star-gazer

Star parties, Orwell Park Observatory, 07 and 14 May 1955.

D J Fulcher, honorary secretary of IDAS since its formation, resigns at committee meeting 23 Apr 1955. C R Munford takes over as honorary secretary.

IDAS hoping to arrange lectures from outside speakers. Request for members of IDAS to accommodate visiting speakers.

IDAS has telescopes for loan to members for periods of 6 weeks at no charge. No waiting list. Equipment curator: Mr W Weston.

IDAS library in operation. Librarian: Mr N Bultitude.

Request material for The Star-gazer. Editor Mr K E Cuthbert.

Membership at satisfactory level. Colchester Royal Grammar School Astronomy Society affiliated to IDAS in 1955.

Night sky.

Recent article on cleaning silver mirrors and recent astronomy books: Exploration of the Moon and Our Moon.

Signed KEC (K E Cuthbert).

1955 May Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, May 1955, p1.

1955 May Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Sep 1955 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: 24 Sep 1955, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Discussion of Earth Satellite Vehicles introduced by Mr M J Calver.

Future meetings of IDAS: 22 Oct, 12 Nov, 10 Dec 1955; 14 Jan, 11 Feb, 15 Mar 1956. Will include at least two talks by external speakers.

Committee will restrict number of members attending star parties at Orwell Park Observatory. Request members to share transport to/from Orwell Park. Star parties planned for: 01, 08 and 15 Oct 1955.

Committee considering whether to move IDAS meetings from Saturdays to another evening.

In future, Sky & Telescope and Journal of the BAA to be circulated on a monthly basis. Back-numbers will be available for IDAS members at the 24 Sep 1955 meeting.

Request IDAS members to return library books.

C R Munford has left the district and IDAS has no secretary. Mr A Goodwin is covering the post on an ad hoc basis.

Equipment for sale by Mr D J Fulcher (miscellaneous) and Mr N Watling (10" mirror).

Night sky.

Journal of the BAA held in reference room of Ipswich Central Library.

1955 Sep Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Sep 1955, p1.

1955 Sep Star-gazer, p2 P2.

1955 Sep Star-gazer, p2 P3.

Nov 1955 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: 12 Nov 1955, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. IDAS President, Mr E H Collinson, FRAS, to talk on The Aurora and Zodiacal Light.

Star parties can be held at Orwell Park Observatory on Saturday nights provided a member experienced in using the refractor is present.

Night sky and astronomy news.

Library loans should be returned at subsequent IDAS meeting. Librarian: Mr N Bultitude.

Signed KEC (K E Cuthbert).

1955 Nov Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Nov 1955, p1.

1955 Nov Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Dec 1955 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: 10 Dec 1955, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Talks:

Future meetings of IDAS: 14 Jan, 11 Feb (AGM), 17 Mar 1956.

Night sky.

Signed KEC (K E Cuthbert).

1955 Dec Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Dec 1955, p1.

1955 Dec Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Jan 1956 The Star-gazer

IDAS AGM: 14 Jan 1956, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. (NB: Advertised in previous edition of The Star-gazer as 11 Feb 1956.) Need to appoint new secretary, office having been vacant for some months. Following committee business, will show film of 1954 solar eclipse taken in Sweden.

Subscriptions due: adult 7/6, junior 3/6. Treasurer: Mr N H Watling.

Will propose visit to Herstmonceux at AGM. (Herstmonceux making provision for six large equatorial telescopes plus, later, the 98" Isaac Newton telescope.)

Night sky and astronomy news.

Ipswich Central Public Library holds two recent astronomy books: Amateur Astronomer’s Handbook and The Polar Aurorae.

Signed KEC (K E Cuthbert).

1956 Jan Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Jan 1956, p1.

1956 Jan Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Feb 1956 The Star-gazer

IDAS AGM: 11 Feb 1956, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. This meeting is the delayed AGM, postponed from 14 Jan due to illness of the Treasurer. Following committee business, Dr D W Dewhirst (Cambridge University Observatories) will talk on Radio Astronomy.

IDAS committee meeting, 11 Feb 1956, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room, preceding AGM.

Night sky.

Magazine Discovery contains an article on International Geophysical Year, 1957-58.

Signed KEC (K E Cuthbert).

1956 Feb Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Feb 1956, p1.

1956 Feb Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Mar 1956 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: 10 Mar 1956, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Will comprise illustrated talks on: Stellar Evolution, The Night Sky in Spring and Sunspots. This is the last meeting of the 1955-56 season.

Officers and committee elected at AGM.

Following IDAS business at AGM, Dr D W Dewhirst of Cambridge spoke on developments in radio astronomy.

IDAS visit to Herstmonceux cancelled as work to ready site still ongoing.

Night sky.

Signed KEC (K E Cuthbert).

1956 Mar Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Mar 1956, p1.

1956 Mar Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Sep 1956 The Star-gazer

Next meeting of IDAS: 28 Sep 1956, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. First meeting of season.

Committee has several proposals regarding IDAS’ aims and programme to put to the membership.

Night sky and astronomy news. Closest opposition of Mars until 1971.

Signed KEC (K E Cuthbert).

1956 Sep Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Sep 1956, p1.

1956 Sep Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Feb 1957 The Star-gazer

IDAS AGM: 23 Feb 1957, Ipswich Museum Lecture Room. Lack of secretary is compromising ability of IDAS to provide full programme of activities. Only one IDAS meeting held during autumn 1956. Mr A W Goodwin held six meetings for younger members at his house. Planned visits to Orwell Park Observatory did not take place. Decrease in number of members has reduced IDAS' income - the Society can no longer afford to host visiting speakers. Will make proposal at AGM that meetings might be held at members’ houses.

Invitation received to visit Norwich Astronomical Society.

Comet 1956h, Arend-Roland.

New meteor stream identified.

1957 Feb Star-gazer, p1 The Star-gazer, Feb 1957, p1.

1957 Feb Star-gazer, p2 P2.

Apr 1957 The Star-gazer

IDAS visit to Norwich Astronomical Society, Sat 27 Apr 1957. Members of IDAS requested to make their own travelling arrangements.

Signed KEC (K E Cuthbert).

1957 Apr Star-gazer The Star-gazer, Apr 1957.

Members and Officers of IDAS

The material above mentions the following members of IDAS. Those marked with a dagger served as officers of the Society; table  1 lists dates of holding office. Those marked with an asterisk later joined OASI.

 

Office Holder Dates
President Mr R L T Clarkson

Mr E H Collinson

1950 - 1954

Feb 1955 onwards

Chairman Mr A W Goodwin

Also covered as Honorary Secretary after C R Munford left the district

1955-56?
Vice Chairman Mr H E S Gibbs 1955-56?
Honorary Secretary Mr D J Fulcher

Mr C R Munford

After C R Munford left the district in Sep 1955, the post remained unfilled

1950 – 23 Apr 1955

23 Apr 1955 – Sep 1955

Treasurer Mr N H Watling Apr 1952 – Mar 1956
Curator of Instruments Mr W T Bodsworth

Mr C R Munford

Mr W Weston

? – Oct 1952

Oct 1952 – Feb 1955

Feb 1955 onwards

Librarian Mr K E Cuthbert

Mr N Bultitude

? – Apr 1954

Feb 1955 onwards

Table 1. Officers of IDAS.

Biographical Notes Concerning Members of IDAS

Biographical information on R L T Clarkson, E H Collinson and D J Fulcher is well-established. Information on other officers and members of IDAS is less certain and is still being researched. The known facts are summarised below.

R L T Clarkson

Biographical information.

E H Collinson

Biographical information.

D J Fulcher

Dennis Jack Fulcher joined the BAA on 25 July 1945 (proposed by Reginald Sykes and seconded by N Boxall [1]). He was elected to the RAS at a meeting on 13 October 1950, proposed by E H Collinson [2]. He subsequently borrowed from the BAA a 5¼" Steinheil refractor on a clock driven equatorial mount atop a cast iron column (BAA Instrument Number 97 [3]) and a two-day chronometer by Frodsham of London (BAA Instrument Number 119 [4]). (The chronometer was returned in the 1955-1956 session.) With these borrowed instruments and a home-constructed 8¼" reflector, he contributed many observations to several observing sections including Mercury & Venus, Mars, Saturn, Comet, Aurora and Meteor. He collaborated with E H Collinson on meteor photography. In early 1950, he was complemented by the BAA section directors for Mercury & Venus and Mars on the quality of his observations of the planets. In the BAA 1952-53 session, Instrument Number 97 was transferred to Colin Munford [5, 6].

OASI is indebted to Kev Fulcher for providing photographs from his family archive and for granting permission to publish them. The three photographs below, thought to date from the 1950s, show D J Fulcher at the eyepiece of the Orwell Park equatorial refractor. Close inspection of the images, the first in particular, reveals two differences from the equipment there today, specifically an odd arrangement of ropes, including a small loop hanging from a hook at the bottom of the shutter, and a means of illuminating the declination circle.

DJF_OPO1.jpg

DJF_OPO2.jpg

DJF_OPO3.jpg

The two photographs below show Fulcher's home observatory at 19 Gloucester Road, Ipswich, circa 1949 and a WW II vintage aircraft-spotting telescope which he used for astronomy. Projecting from the roof of his home observatory is the 5¼" Steinheil refractor on loan from the BAA (until 1953) and in front of the observatory his home-constructed 8¼" reflector. (Note: the January 1955 and September 1955 editions of the Star-gazer indicate that Fulcher had moved house to 178 Ashcroft Road, Ipswich.)

DJF_home.jpg

DJF_air_scp.jpg

In the 1950s, Fulcher created a list of members of the BAA based in Suffolk. In 2015, Bill Barton created a Google map illustrating the location of people on the list. The original list is now held by the Suffolk Records Office, archive ref. GC14/B1/1,2:

BAA_membs.jpg

A W Goodwin

Alfred William Goodwin (Ipswich, 1915 - Ipswich, 1967).

Address: 10 Avondale Road [7, 8, 9, 10].

H E S Gibbs

Horace Edward Stanton Gibbs (Ipswich, 1910 - Lowestoft, 1971).

Address: 58 Mersey Road [7, 8, 9].

C R Munford

Colin Robert Munford (Ipswich, 1932 -).

Joined the BAA on 28 January 1953 [11], proposed by Dennis Fulcher. Borrowed Instrument Number 97 after Fulcher finished with it, and returned it to the BAA during the 1954-55 session.

Joined the RAS on 09 January 1959 [12], proposed by Reginald Gordon Andrews (1903-96, Director of the BAA Variable Star Section (VSS) 1958-64).

07 December 1973, lectured to OASI on "Variable Star Observation" [13].

February 1975, welcome to new member of OASI, Mr C R Munford, FRAS [14].

14 April 1977, took part in astronomy discussion on Radio Orwell chaired by Rummy Weston [15]. (Other participants were Royston Cheesman, John Deans & Charles Radley, all members of OASI.)

18 November 1977, lectured to OASI on "The Planet Saturn" [16].

15 December 1978, took part in an evening of OASI members' contributions [17].

1980, received the Steavenson Award of the BAA for work in the VSS [187].

December 1981, acting secretary of the BAA VSS [19].

2003, became an honorary member of the BAA in recognition of fifty years continuous membership [20].

N H Watling

Norman Harold Watling (Alcester, Warwickshire/Worcestershire, 1913 - Ipswich, 1991).

Address: 34 Beverley Road [7, 8, 9, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31].

W T Bodsworth

William Thomas Peploe Bodsworth (Brighton, 1881 - Ipswich, 1960).

Address: 41 Goring Road [33].

59 Lattice Avenue [7, 8, 9].

W Weston

William Bromley Weston (Hampstead, London, 1900 - Ipswich, 1986).

Address: 23 Gloucester Road [7, 8, 9, 33, 34].

K E Cuthbert

Kenneth E Cuthbert (Ipswich, 1929 - )

Charles E Cuthbert (father?) is listed in [7, 8, 9].

See also [35].

N Bultitude

Noel Albert Edward Bultitude (Ipswich, 1911 - Waveney, Suffolk, 1982).

Address: 48 Curriers Lane [33, 34, 36]. [7, 8, 9] list Thomas Bultitude (hairdresser).

Mr Dyett

Possibly Oliver Ralph Dyer (Southampton 1898 - Norfolk 1996). Oliver, 1 Halliwell Road? [7], Ralph O., 1 Halliwell Road? [8].

H A Johnson

Henry Alfred Johnson, died Capel St. Mary, June 1952, age 71 [37].

Mr F Murdoch

Possibly Finlay Murdoch, 56 Foundation Street? [7, 8]. 5 Suffolk Road? [9].

Mrs Perfect

Possibly wife of James, 25 Burke Road? [7, 9]. James E Perfect married Beatrice M E Fitch in 1947. Beatrice Edith Maud Perfect died Warley (Worcestershire) in 1968 age 53. A Beatrice E M Fitch was born Bury St. Edmunds, 1911. (Note that the order of the middle two initials differs in the first woman's name from the second and third - this may indicate a transcription error in one or more certificates or a misidentification.)

R J West

Roy J West, 51 Conway Close? [8].

IDAS Events In Their Historical Context

In 2018, Bill Barton produced a table illustrating key events in the history of IDAS in their historical context.

References

[1]

JBAA, vol. 55, p. 150.

[2]

MNRAS vol. 110, p. 415.

[3]

JBAA vol. 58, p. 250.

[4]

JBAA vol. 61, p. 219.

[5]

JBAA vol. 63, p. 306.

[6]

IDAS Star-gazer July 1953, p. 2.

[7]

Kelly’s Ipswich, 1952.

[8]

Kelly’s Ipswich, 1954.

[9]

Kelly’s Ipswich, 1956.

[10]

IDAS Star-gazer September 1955, p. 2.

[11]

JBAA vol. 63, p. 128.

[12]

MNRAS vol. 119, p. 1.

[13]

OASI Newsletter December 1973, p. 4.

[14]

OASI Newsletter February 1975, p. 3.

[15]

OASI Newsletter May 1977, p. 6.

[16]

OASI Newsletter November 1977, p. 5.

[17]

OASI Newsletter December 1978, p. 11.

[18]

JBAA vol. 90, pp. 408-9.

[19]

See https://www.britastro.org/vss/VS0048.pdf

[20]

JBAA vol. 113, p. 234.

[21]

IDAS Star-gazer May 1953, p. 1.

[22]

IDAS Star-gazer November 1953, p. 2.

[23]

IDAS Star-gazer February 1954, p. 1.

[24]

IDAS Star-gazer April 1954, p. 1.

[25]

IDAS Star-gazer September 1954, p. 1.

[26]

IDAS Star-gazer October 1954, p. 2.

[27]

IDAS Star-gazer January 1955, p. 1.

[28]

IDAS Star-gazer February 1955, p. 2.

[29]

IDAS Star-gazer March 1955, p. 1.

[30]

IDAS Star-gazer September 1955, p. 3.

[31]

IDAS Star-gazer January 1956, p. 1.

[32]

IDAS Star-gazer September 1952, p. 2.

[33]

IDAS Star-gazer March 1955, p. 1.

[34]

IDAS Star-gazer May 1955, p. 1.

[35]

http://suffolkpainters.co.uk/index.cgi?choice=painter&pid=185

[36]

IDAS Star-gazer November 1955, p. 2.

[37]

IDAS Star-gazer October 1952.


John Barbrook, James Appleton, Bill Barton, FRAS