Monday 25 January 2021

Leeds Astronomical Society 1892



Leeds Mercury Saturday 10th December 1892

A meeting of the members of the Leeds Astronomical Society was held on Monday in the library of the philosophical Hall ark-row, for the purpose for the purpose of submitting a scheme for the future conduct of the society, and for the enrolment of members. Mr. Washington Teasdale, F.R.A.S., occupied the chair, and amongst those present were Mr. W. D. Barbour (treasurer). Mr. H. Stockwell (secretary), Mr. S Jefferson, Mr. H. J. Townshed, Mr. D. Booth, Mr. E R. Blakeley (Dewsbury), Mr. Marshall (Church Institute), Mr. Wm. Neil, and others.

At a preliminary meeting of the committee of the society was decided to invite Sir Robert Ball to become honorary President of the society, and that Mr. Washington should continue to be the acting President. —The Chairman said that they had recently held a meeting for the purpose of forming an Astronomical Society, or rather reorganising one which had formerly existed, for Mr Barbour had, fortunately, preserved the record, the Astronomical Society which was formed 1859. They were impelled to do so because had become aware that there were in Leeds a number of students of astronomy who were sending their communications to other societies which were in active existence.

Their society had only been a state of passive existence, and it was only through the Journals of these outside societies that they had become acquainted with each other as astronomical students. He then called on the secretary (Mr. Stockwell), who read a letter from the "Leeds Mercury Supplement." setting forth the objects of the promoter of the meeting. He then read the minutes of two previous meetings, these including the rules that hart been framed and agreed upon. The Chairman said that he felt certain that in a little the value of an astronomical society for Leeds would be thoroughly appreciated and that if once they got established as a working society many would join both in Leeds and the surrounding neighbourhood. They then must promote cordial co-operation with other philological societies, for the astronomer was now largely dependent upon the special knowledge of workers in other branches of science, such as the geologist. the chemist, the photographer, and so forth.—Mr. Barbour, who was treasurer of the original society, gave some account of its proceedings, mentioning that the fine telescope which was handed by the members over to the Yorkshire College. dared say they could have it back again if they asked for it- Mr David Booth, the next speaker, said he quite agreed that a distinct society for the of astronomy be formed for Leeds.

When they got well established they could consider the question joining the British Astronomical Association.—Mr. Townshend said he hoped thev should he able to regain possession of the telescope and obtain a suitable observatory.— Mr Blakeley said he wished to dispel a very prevalent idea, that in order to study astronomy one must necessarily possess a telescope. There was a great deal to study in it without making any use philosophical instruments. A very great deal could be seen with an ordinarily good opera-glass, such, for example, as the satellite’s of Jupiter. Then meteorology was a branch of astronomy. and their friend Mr. Booth, who was an eminent meteorologist, would tell them that no optical instruments were necessary in making meteorological observations.

He hoped to be able to obtain a lumber of members from the Dewsbury district. (Applause.)— Mr. Townshend mentioned that there was an astronomical society at Sheffield, and that its members had the use an observatory belonging to the Corporation of that town two days every week. In reply to Mr. Barbour, he said that members of the Leeds society could, if they so wished, have the use of that observatory.—The Chairman mid it might be interesting to know that the present Assistant Astronomer Royal, Mr. Turner, was a Leeds man. (Applause.) Mr. Turner was also the secretary of the official journal the Royal Astronomical Society. He (the Chairman) trusted they should obtain lady members. (Hear, hear.) —Mr. John Roberts, who was a member the old Leeds Astronomical Society, Mr. Brooks, and other gentlemen having spoken, the proceedings terminated. Several new members were enrolled.

1 comment:

  1. Leeds AS were inactive during the 1870's and 80's. Glasgow AS advertised meetings as early as 1803.