Orwell Astronomical Society (Ipswich)

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Visit By South-East Essex
Astronomical Society, 28 July 1979

On Saturday 28 July 1979, after spending the morning in Clacton-on-Sea on an annual "day out", the South-East Essex Astronomical Society (SEEAS) visited OASI at Orwell Park Observatory. The visit to the Observatory necessitated considerable preparation, and so it was that on the preceding Friday, David Barnard and Martin Cook took the day off work to get the facility ready. During Friday evening, a small gang of helpers cleaned the Observatory before quenching their thirst at the Ship Inn in Levington. On Saturday morning, Mike Barriskill and Royston Cheesman invaded Tesco's for enough food and drink to satisfy 65 people! After a quick lunch at the Ship Inn it was a case of "all hands to preparing sandwiches" before the visitors arrived.

We had hoped to take tea on the lawn at the rear of Orwell Park School but, unfortunately, the Orwell estuary, like the rest of Great Britain, had been invaded by greenfly, so Mr Angus (Headmaster of Orwell Park School) allowed us to use the school library instead.

At 3:15pm, forty-five guests arrived, some by coach, some by car, interrupting their holidays around the East Coast. After a guided tour of the Observatory and school grounds we had tea. We had catered for 45 members of SEEAS plus the 20 members of OASI who were expected to attend to help - where were you? After first, second and in some cases even third helpings there was still some food left. With full stomachs our guests again walked around the Observatory, school grounds and some even ventured to banks of the Orwell, braving the green-fly en route!

After a very enjoyable afternoon the members of SEEAS boarded their coach and cars to make their way home. Subsequently, Peter Laycock of SEEAS wrote thanking OASI for our hospitality and asking that the thanks of SEEAS be conveyed to all members of OASI who helped make the visit so enjoyable.

Roy Cheesman