After witnessing a total eclipse of the Sun in
southern Turkey on 29th May 2006, Lyn Smith returned to the UK and
wrote a short article on the event for a local Lanark newspaper.
She also asked for anyone interested in starting an Astronomical
Society in the Lanark area to get in touch. Alice-Amanda Kay was
the first to respond followed by Jim Macdonald, Dave and Janice
The first meeting was held at Alice-Amanda’s house in Forth village on
Friday 2nd June 2006 when the 5 founder members decided to call the new
Society the Clydesdale Astronomical Society. They also decided to
publicise the society’s existence to see if enough members could be
attracted to make the society viable.
In the following weeks, enough new members responded to a poster
campaign and information in the local paper. A constitution and
rules was drawn up for the proper management of the society and the
first members’ meeting was held near Rigside on Monday 11th
September. Regular meetings were then established on the
2nd Monday of the month with members giving talks and presentations to
In March 2007 the society transferred its meetings to the Carluke
Leisure Centre which was a more central venue for members and more
accessible by public transport. However the venue changed again
in October to the Bankhall Community Centre in Forth as the former
venue was closed for up to 12 months for major renovation work.
John Braithwaite was elected as Honorary President of the Society by
the Committee in the autumn of 2007 and Dave Findlay and Alison Dunlop
joined the committee. The Society held its first public observing
event on the 17th October 2007 at the National Museum of Rural Life,
Kittochside, East Kilbride which has become a regular spring and autumn
event in the society calendar.
Professor John Brown, Astronomer Royal for Scotland attended the
society’s February 2008 meeting and gave an excellent talk entitled
“Black Holes and White Rabbits” where he combined his twin interests of
astronomy and magic.
The society’s first annual dinner was held on Friday 3rd October 2008
at Carnwath a fitting commencement to its third season.
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