I wouldn’t be against a simpler Winchester, but I don’t think you could do it now. When I first started attending in the 1970’s amateur astronomy was much simpler (and some would argue, much more fun). There was a more ‘hands on’ approach, where someone might take a cardboard tube and a greasy shaving mirror and end up with a visual observation of some astronomical object, or perhaps construct an observatory from old pallets etc. (I helped a friend do this. The observatory lasted years!). The majority of conversations at Winchester (before the bar) were about what we saw through our instruments, and we didn’t need computers to locate these objects in the clear skies we sometimes had at the old King Alfred’s college. Yes indeed, those were the days! 🙂
Although I enjoy attending astronomical meetings they can and do get very ‘samey’. All high tech, expensive kit, satellites and professional astronomers etc. But perhaps that’s for another discussion.