A Brief History Of BAS

The Bristol Astronomical Society was formed in 1942 as a result of the war years in Bristol.

During the early days of the Second World War (1939-1945) many people were forced to change their way of life. It was a time when air raids were a regular event at night, with Bristol being particularly affected by regular bombing raids, so a strict blackout was enforced.

Many of the cities factories, offices and shops had a fire watching rota, which meant employees being posted in high vantage points in case of incendiary bomb attacks. As a result of being placed in such unusual positions at such unusual times in total darkness, it is not surprising that many people became aware for the first time of the wonders of the night sky.

One group of Bristol’s fire-watchers became fascinated by the beauty of the stars and began to study the constellations during their long vigils. Soon they were arranging meetings to discuss their new found interest, and so was born the Bristol Astronomical Society.

The Society has come a long way since the early days, its has had its ups and downs and the occasional financial crisis, but today the Society is thriving with over 120 members, and tries to cater for both armchair astronomers and active observers.

Our 2012/2013 season marked the 70th anniversary of the society.

Original advert from the Bristol Evening Post calling for people interested in Astronomy to meet at 75 Springfield Road, Cotham, at 7:30pm on Tuesday December 8th, 1942.

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