W.H. Steavenson (1922–1930).

Dr William Herbert Steavenson – or Steave, as he was known to his friends – was a talented and eagle-eyed observer who trained as a surgeon. He was an active observer of Mars over many years, but his enduring interests were in optics and observing variable stars, especially old novae. He did not publish any full Mars reports during his Directorship, leading to a large backlog which was never dealt with by his successors! Steavenson used a 15-cm (6-inch) OG from his home in Norwood, London (illustrated in the famous book The Splendour of the Heavens, of which he was a co-author with the Rev. T.E.R. Phillips), and between 1918 and 1929 also had occasional use of the 28-inch refractor at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. His obituary notice is in J. Brit. Astron. Assoc., 86, 386–390 (1976). In his later years, Steave did not attend BAA meetings, and I regret that I never had the chance to meet him. (Photo: BAA Presidential portrait.)

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