About the Society
The Stratford upon Avon Astronomical Society is a highly active club with a membership of over 60. We aim to provide a meeting place for amateur astronomers and to promote astronomy in the Warwickshire area and we are a member society of the Federation of Astronomical Societies. We meet twice a month at the splendid village hall in Alderminster, a few miles south of Stratford.
On the first Tuesday of each month, we have a practical workshop, covering topics oriented around observational astronomy. On the third Tuesday of each month we have a talk by a visiting guest speaker, usually a professional astronomer.
We meet at the village hall in Alderminster. If you are using a SatNav unit to find us, post code CV37 8PE will get you very close. The village hall is approximately 200 yards from the main A3400 in New Road, on the left if travelling from the A3400. If you are traveling from the M40 along the A429 you may find it easier to turn right onto the A422 towards Stratford and then after 1.2 miles turn left into New Road towards Alderminster. Approaching from this direction the village hall is on the right, approximately 1.6 miles from the A422
Some of our observing activities are at Alderminster which does not have street lighting and offers very good observing conditions, except for a narrow sector to the North, spoiled by the pollution of Stratford, Solihull and Birmingham.
The Society also has a splendid range of portable telescopes and other items of equipment which are, as appropriate, used for public outreach events, for our “Club Nights” and for use on loan by members. We have been donated a splendid 10 inch goto Skywatcher telescope, which is particularly good for faint objects and for busy observing sessions; other equipment includes a solar telescope, a Meade 5-inch goto SCT, a 6 inch Dobsonian, two 4.3-inch reflectors and a 4-inch refractor, in addition to a range of photographic, digital imaging and spectroscopic equipment. If you are considering buying a telescope, why not join us and try before you buy?
We also have an observatory near Bidford upon Avon. The observatory was formally opened on 12th July 1997 by our President, Professor Peter Willmore. It is named "The Sid Payne Observatory" in memory of a member who showed great enthusiasm for the construction of the observatory but who unfortunately passed away during the early stages of construction. We are grateful to Sid's family for a generous donation towards the costs of the observatory.
The observatory houses "The George Ricketts Telescope" named after its original designer and creator. The telescope is very substantial and could hold a much bigger mirror than the existing 10-inch (possibly up to 20-inch).
Visitors are welcome to attend meetings for free. We encourage you to come along to one or two meetings to determine if you wish to join us. Whilst there is no pressure to join, anyone who wishes to continue to attend regularly should become a member.
Membership costs £20 per year except for those in full time education, for whom membership is free. Members can use our telescopes, have a say in the way the organisation is run and borrow from our library.