Ok, a couple of hours late, but who cares…
The Eddington Society, Kendal’s Astronomical Society, was founded on the 8th of June 2004 – five years ago – shortly after the 85th anniversary of Eddington’s trip to Principe, which provided important evidence in favour of the General Relativistic world view.
The event used to launch the society was the Transit of Venus. I hired Kendal Cricket Club and did a public observing event with a couple of telescopes, information cards, some games and the like. It was labelled the SolarFest and attracted attention from the local press and fortunately enough people to get us going.
In the early days we had some interesting speakers including Christopher Lintott of the Sky at Night, who spoke at Kendal Masonic Hall and who will be joining the Society again to give a talk later this year all things being right. The Society then retreated into the Rifleman’s Arms for a few talks before ever dwindling audiences before Stuart Atkinson took over as secretary and agent provocateur in general, stirring up interest across the town, getting a column in the Westmorland Gazette and much more besides.
Now the Society meets at the Kendal Museum (asides from a minor detour into the Castle Street Centre during a time of changes at the Museum now sorted out) and has an information board in Kendal Library. It has grown to a membership of dozens, long meetings and many speakers with an assured future and a strong position during this International Year of Astronomy, 2009.