Christmas Meeting

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    Gary Poyner

    Cracking Christmas meeting yesterday at the IOP. Excellent talks, and really nice to meet up with members again after three years. Good to see old friends ‘in the flesh’ once more.

    Thanks to everyone involved with the organisation.


    Paul G. Abel

    Agreed Gary! It was a great event- one of the best Christmas meetings in a while!

    Jeremy Shears

    Indeed! Wonderful eating, super talks and good to be able to meet up with people, some of whom had not attended a BAA meeting for 3 years.

    Mr Jack Martin

    Very enjoyable meeting and get together at The Astronomer pub.
    A big thank you to the organisers.
    Look forward to the same next year.

    Nick Hewitt

    Great fun. Almost back to normal.

    Nick James

    Yes, very enjoyable and great to see so many people at the meeting. Does anyone have any info on that Wray refractor at the pub?

    Mr Jack Martin

    Attached is information about the Wray refractor.

    Duncan Hale-Sutton

    Agreed, it was a very enjoyable meeting and social afterwards. Many thanks to the BAA and to those who contributed and organised it.


    David C Rayment

    The plaque in the picture gives a date c1865, but, having not seen the actual telescope it looks the finished article to me. I would therefore guess a little later – c1867. William Wray’s patent on Improvements in Achromatic Object Glasses was filed in 1866. See 920 of English Patents of Inventions, Specifications: 1866, 903-966. The witness to the September piece is J Turnbull, which I suspect is his brother-in-law, Joseph, who was also an optician.
    Wray, however, was at Clifton Villas up to at least the spring of 1874, but he had changed his address to Laurel House sometime in 1875, so the telescope must date before then.

    The Science Museum Group website, incidentally, states the company name changed from W Wray to Wray Ltd after the merger with Aitcheson in 1908 and that the name became Wray Optical Works Ltd in 1950. However, the London Gazette shows the business name was Wray Optical Works Ltd as early as 1944.

    In 1860, two years before he was elected FRAS, Wray visited Spain where he assisted James Buckingham in his observations of the 1860 solar eclipse on July 18. Also in the large group was the Astronomer Royal. Wray was also a member of the Microscopical Society.
    Wray died at Laurel House on 31 December 1885 and was buried at Camden on January 4 the following year.

    Nick James

    Jack, thanks for the pictures and David, thanks for the details. There are a few “Astronomer” pubs around the country. I wonder how many have rooms like this?

    James Lancashire

    There is one in Braintree commemorating James Challis

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