Orwell Astronomical Society (Ipswich)

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Biographical Notes on Noel Charles Clements Barrell, AMICE, FRAS, FRAI (1903-79)

Noel Charles Clements Barrell is listed as a member of OASI during the mid-1970s. Unfortunately, due to poor record-keeping by the Society at the time, the precise years when he joined and left are no longer known.




Author of book, "The History of the Guildford Waterworks", (1951). 2nd edition, 1952.

References in OASI Newsletter

1976 June, p3.

TELESCOPE MAKING. Mr N C C Barrell, FRAS has donated to Mr R M Cheesman on the Society's behalf mirror blanks and all the necessary equipment for cutting, grinding and polishing mirrors together with equipment to test mirrors. One of the mirror cutters Mr. Barrell invented and has given to the Society was featured in an article in 195? in "Scientific American" magazine.

We propose that we start a mirror making section and any member who is interested should contact Mr R M Cheesman, who will be starting the section.

The mirrors we have for distribution to members range in size from 6" to 12.5"+ and will be allocated to those members who are definitely going to make reflectors. The blanks will be allocated as requested but if we have more than 12 requests for mirrors (or of any specified size) then the Committee will allocate them as they think best.

Mr Barrell has also donated to the Society a large semi-portable reflector on an alt-azimuth stand with a focal length ranging from 6' to 12' of his own design weighing about 7 cwt. This instrument with be collected from Mr Barrells within months and set up on a suitable site.

Our thanks go to Mr Barrell for these mirror disks, equipment and the reflector and we hope that as many members as possible will be able to use them.

1976 July, p4

NEW REFLECTOR. On Friday 18th June six of our members went to pick up the reflector donated to the Society by Mr N C C Barrell, FRAS.

This instrument has been hand built by Mr Barrell right down to the small nuts and bolts over the last thirty years and is indeed a superb instrument which has been made with great care. Some of the wooden parts are made from black oak which is over 1,000 years old!

The instrument is basically a test bench for mirrors from 6" to 12", although it can quite satisfactorily be used as a permanent set up. The mirror currently being used on the instrument is an 8" mirror of f9 (i.e. a focal length of 6'). This mirror is quite a good one and has been parabolized to 80% of a true parabola for evening observing. There is also an 8" mirror unsilvered at f9 which has not been fully corrected but very satisfactory for use on the Sun for direct vision. The legs of the stand are made from concrete. The mirror flat has a 6 volt light built in which, when switched on in the winter, prevents the flat from dewing up. Also there are many eyepieces which are brand new which not only can be used with this instrument but also can be used with the 10" OG Orwell Park Telescope.

We will be erecting the telescope in its own portable observatory within the next couple of months in the Orwell Park School grounds on the top of the hill which leads down to the River Orwell. This site, although at ground level, offers a good skyline for observing.

Our thanks again go to Mr Barrell for donating not only this instrument but also all the equipment for making reflector mirrors.

This telescope will be known as "The N C C Barrell Reflector" and will be suitably plated to this effect.

1976 August, p4

The society's telescope making section has use of a "Foucault Tester" donated by Mr. Barrell.

1976 December, p7

OBSERVATORY CLOCK. The Observatory astronomical clock which was donated to our society by Mr N C C Barrell has now been installed in the Club Room in the Observatory. You are requested NOT TO TOUCH IT even if it has stopped!! This clock has been hand built by Mr Barrell and took about 5000 hours to design, build and calibrate so please leave it alone. You may however, take the top lid off the clock case and look down into the workings, but be very careful not to upset the clock.

Our thanks again go to Mr N C C Barrell for this magnificent clock. We will make a plate up to put on the case showing that the clock was donated to us by Mr Barrell.

1977 April, p6

35 books donated to the society's library. And donation of a step-ladder to go with the "Barrell Telescope".

1979 July, p4

The "Barrell Telescope", an 8.5" reflector, available for loan (£1.00 per year).

1980 March, "Information for new members" leaflet, p2

The "Barrell Telescope" is available for loan to members. It is fitted with an 8.5" mirror, but can accommodate mirrors from 5" to 18" aperture and of varying focal lengths.

Bill Barton, FRAS