Historical Section newsletter

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    Can I draw your attention to the latest edition of the historical section newsletter, just out.

    Lee Macdonald (the editor) and I were really pleased with it, as it includes personal reminiscences by us.

    In “Working with Hawking” Lee writes about his time at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge, where Stephen Hawking was a professor. Lee organised Hawking’s 70th birthday celebrations.

    Gerald North, the well-known astronomical author, writes about being as a guest observer on the 30-inch Thompson Reflector at Herstmonceux, during the 1980s. I also studied at Herstmonceux at the time so I added my own memories about working at the observatory.

    Finally, Nick White writes about William Cowle (1819-1899), an amateur astronomer from Stroud. Cowle and the observatory he built in Stroud are known to local historians in the town, but as far as we know this is the first time he has come to the attention of the astronomical historical community.

    If you are interested, the latest edition of the newsletter, and all the back issues, can be found at


    You can receive the newsletter directly! Contact me if you would like to be added to our mailing list.

    David Swan

    Thanks to all the contributors and the editorial team. A good read!

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