place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
News - The Weekly News Magazine for
No. 217 - Wednesday, 24th September 2008
NEWS - Anne Gray Award - Tudorville Post Office - Civic Service
- Silverfish - Good Citizen - Potters Bar Party - Do you know the
story behind the giant football?]
lovely day with Sir Patrick Moore - Plans for the future, have your
in Bloom Awards - Letters]
in Bloom Awards continued - Llangrove houses refused - Ross Traders
development Framework - Weather]
very special duo and the rest of the news from around the region]
A Lovely Day with Sir Patrick Moore
Having enjoyed a life long passion for astronomy, I first
communicated with Sir Patrick Moore when I was a 13 year
old boy. I asked him how I could take photographs through
my small telescope. When Patrick wrote back, even at that
age, I realized what a nice, and very helpful man he was.
Patrick put me in touch with Commander Henry Hatfield at
the time, and I must admit that the technical text and diagrams
I was sent, completely baffled my schoolboy brain. It was
not until years later that I actually started taking my
first astronomical photographs.
the solar eclipse of 1st August, I sent Sir Patrick the
film I shot from Ross, along with a letter, thanking him
for sparking what had become a lifelong interest in the
moon, planets and the stars. The next morning my telephone
rang and, to my surprise, it was Sir Patrick. We had a very
a long chat, quite literally about life, the universe and
all that. Getting on to local matters, my friend, Roger
Lovell, who is the Son of Sir Bernard came into the conversation.
Sir Bernard Lovell built the great 'Lovell' Radio telescope
at Jodrell Bank and as younger men, during the telescope's
construction Patrick and Bernard shared an interest in watching
meteors at night and playing cricket. Sir Patrick remembered
Roger but had not seen him since he was about 5 years old.
cut a long story short, Sir Patrick invited Tina, Roger
and I to his home in Selsey for lunch and we arranged a
date for Saturday, 20th September. Some weeks later, I received
another call from the Moore household. Patrick's personal
assistant had mistaken my number for that of a member of
the BBC 'Sky at Night' team. An Autumn Equinox Star Party
had been arranged for the same day. Fantastic!
soon as we entered the garden of 'Farthings', Patrick's
home, we were made to feel extremely welcome - both by Sir
Patrick himself, his staff and by those in the garden, who
were setting up their telescopes for the 'Sky at Night'
Star Party. Patrick invited the three of us into the already
familiar surroundings of his 'study', and we sat around
his desk. There, in front of us was the famous 'Woodstock'
typewriter - a machine which had belonged to his grandfather
- with another, newer machine next to it. Over pre-lunch
drinks, Patrick explained that, due to an old war injury,
he was having some difficulty typing on the 'Woodstock'
now and he had been given a new electric typewriter that
very morning by a friend.
. . .
up for the 'Sky at Night' Autumn Equinox Star Party. Ref: DSC_7444
At the dining table, we were joined by one other guest,
a friend of Patrick's who was also called Roger and also
from Herefordshire. Roger's wife is a musician and had sung
some of Sir Patrick's own musical compositions on a recent
'Sky at Night' programme, 'Music of the Stars'.
had a really nice time. Sir Patrick is one of the kindest,
most helpful men I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He
has a fantastic sense of humour and over lunch explained
how an 11 year old boy had once visited his home to look
through his telescope. He had had to lift the boy up so
that he could look through the eyepiece. That boy was Chris
Lyntott, now Co-presenter of the 'Sky at Night'.
Patrick spoke to me for this
week's WNTV. We were out in his garden at the time with
the party setting up and his sense of humour comes across
in the film. Those you can hear laughing in the background
at Patrick's remark about 'those who do not believe the
moon landing took place - mainly Americans' are members
of the BBC team. I must admit, I was more than a little
nervous filming. Not because of Sir Patrick. It was doing
so in the garden with so many people who know far more than
I do milling around. This interview is good, but I cannot
help but notice my own nervousness. I hope to try to interview
Sir Patrick again, on a quieter day without so much going
on around us. There is so much more I wanted to ask him
but I didn't write anything down and all of the questions
left my head as soon as Roger switched the camera on.
would love to have returned later on with my own telescope
for the Equinox Party but I had promised that I would cover
the Ross-in-Bloom Awards. Sir Patrick has said that he will
let me know when the next 'Star Party' is taking place.
Jones, Sir Patrick Moore, Roger Lovell and Alan Wood. (Patrick asked
Sky at Night photographer, Peter lawrence to take this photo with
his own camera, so I gave him my camera as well. Sorry it wasn't
a Canon, Peter!) Ref: DSC_7438
and Patrick Moore. Ref: DSC_7436
Apologies to Roger Lovell, who actually took the
photo, for the wrong credit. Trying to do everything in too much
of a hurry here, I forgot to make the change whilst processing,
using my auto Photoshop 'action' for Wyenot News pics.
telescopes for the Equinox Party. Ref: DSC_7445
the hedge in this photo, in the wooden structure, the telescope
which Patrick used to map the Moon for NASA can be seen on it's
manual alt azimuth mount. Ref: DSC_7463
famous 'Oil Drum Observatory'. . . Ref: DSC_7448
. . and inside, Ed Sampson and Mark Irving collimate Patrick's world
renowned 15 inch 'Fullerscopes' reflector.
was daylight but I could not be there and not look through the
telescope, so I checked out the leaves on the bushes.
Plans For The Future - Have Your Say
Following an initial consultation stage to identify the
issues that matter to the residents of Ross, which ran from
November 2007 to January 2008, and a period of time spent
analysing responses, The Ross Town Plan Steering Group is
all ready to host a series of Planning for Real Events to
be held at a variety of locations within the town.
first of these events will be held at The Larruperz Centre
on Thursday, 25th September between 10am and 4pm. You are
warmly invited to come along and take part. Set out on a
table will be a huge map of Ross which we would like you
to use to identify places where you would like to see some
action taken. There will be topic cards and pins available
for you to stick in the map at locations in the town or,
if your issue is more abstract, on the periphery.
that have been raised so far include the one way system,
shabby shop fronts, policing and anti social behaviour,
the need for a cinema, parking, road signage and sporting
facilities. This is a marvellous opportunity for you to
influence The Ross Town Plan by having your views included.
events are planned for The Market House, Brampton Abbotts
School, The Library, Tudorville Community Centre (Tuesday,
7th October 10 - 4pm) and John Kyrle High School. Please
check the local press for dates or go to www.ross-on-wye.org
for the latest information.
would be most grateful if you could circulate this information
to all your friends who live in Ross as we want as many
residents (people of all age groups) as possible to have
the opportunity to express their views.
you. Caroline Utting Secretary to The Ross Town Plan.
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