The Revd Walter Bidlake of Crewe and Espin’s ‘dark nebulae’

 The Revd Walter Bidlake, MA, FRAS, JP (1865-1938) was vicar of Crewe in Cheshire for some 21 years. A member of the BAA, he was a keen amateur astronomer with an interest in celestial photography.  At the request of another well-known BAA member, T. H. E. C. Espin, Bidlake took photographs of the night sky in support of Espin’s search for dark nebulae in the Milky Way. This paper describes Bidlake’s astronomical activities and life, including a high profile libel case he brought.
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