These are held on either the weekend prior to, or the weekend following Easter. The forthcoming convention will take place between Friday evening 22MAR2002 & Sunday afternoon 24MAR2002. The weekends have been run regularly since October 1966, and used to be organised by Prof. Vincio Barocas on behalf of the BAA. During the 1970's they proved so popular that a group from Wolverhampton Astronomical Society decided to organise a second annual weekend in the spring of each year. Since the retirement of Prof. Barocas, the spring meeting has superceded and replaced the autumn meeting. The spring meetings were originally orgainised by Malcolm Astley, formerly secretary of Wolverhampton Astronomical Society. Since 1996, they have been run jointly with the SPA. As of the1998 meeting I have assumed the mantle of responsibility on Malcolm's behalf, and run the weekends in the spirit in which he wished.
The weekends are very popular and always well attended. Each weekend typically has a different theme, but also other diverse topics of interest. Convention delegates comprise a rich mixture from seasoned amateur astronomers and amateur telescope makers to raw beginners. Many delegates bring along telescopes and other pieces of equipment to use. Besides the interesting lecture sessions there are two "Members' Sessions" during which delegates have the opportunity to show photographs and drawings of their observations and to tell those present what they have been doing during the previous year. This aspect of the Alston Hall conventions is always stimulating, and provides the ideal opportunity for like minded amateur astronomers to get together and exchange ideas.
Alston Hall is a delightful country house set in the Ribble valley near Longridge, west Lancashire. The atmosphere is relaxed and convivial, the food and drink excellent, the accommodation commodious, and the company a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you fancy an opportunity to get away from it all, and to spend a convivial weekend in the presence of like minded amateur astronomers and telescope makers, then book a reservation.
For booking details please go to the Alston Hall website _ click here.
For details of the programme please _ click here.
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