Wales 2018

Not owning a telescope need not be a problem. But binoculars can be an advantage.

Those who wish to book a meal on arrival can book to eat at New House Farm whether or not you are staying there. We normally arrive for evening meal on Fridays. The departure is up to you. Some stay until Monday.

Here is a few facts about our observing sites.
Do not rely on the postcode in GPS, it is too wide an area.
On googlemaps New House Farm is labelled with the hosts names J&S Ievers

A general map of location in Wales

Smaller map of the district

OS map with 1km grid of both farms

Aerial view New house farm

Aerial view Lane Farm

The weather is king. When it is clear Wales is often clear of air pollution and the nights can be very good. When cloudy, we revert to plan B which involves red wine or other liquids.

The roads can be wet when raining. If your car is very precious or low-slung, beware that a bit of wading might be necessary on the last mile before New House Farm, although any flooding is short lived at this elevation.


East Reading Festival

This private post will expire on 18 June 2018.
Information for helpers at this event.
East Reading Festival layout plan.

Our site is A6 and A7
Our site is A6 and A7 and download this spreadsheet to see who the other stallholders are

Information sheet for Stand holders
Stand Questions: 07786 917 063 (Matt)
Information Desk: 07976 20 50 80 (Richard)
Emergencies In case of emergencies, call 999. Then let the information desk know so we can expect the emergency services.
If first aid is needed, contact the information desk.
Although very unlikely, if there is an emergency, instructions will be communicated via organisers and the PA systems. If this happens, just walk away from the site but do not use the stadium road or park footpath as these need to be clear for emergency vehicles.

Setup You can set up from 8am to 11:30am. When you arrive, please look for a steward (in a high visibility vest) in order to find out exactly where you should set up. During setup you can move vehicles on site (being careful).

Confirm there are no trip hazards and all your equipment and stand is tidy and as safe as possible.

Parking Stands in rows A-C……….. Park behind your stand

Stands in row D…………….. Either park on your stand or in the car park (not behind your


Food Stands in row F……. Park on your stand or on the side away from the stage

Please ensure all your vehicles are parked by 11:30am.

During the event no vehicles on the park are allowed to move (apart from emergency or accessibility vehicles).

Breakdown Breakdown starts at 6pm. NOT BEFORE. After 6pm, you can move your vehicles to your stand to clear up. Please be extra vigilant as there will be other people around. You have until 10pm to clear your stand, though it is likely that you will need far less time than that.
Illness If you suffer any illness, need any first aid, or anyone else on site needs first aid, the first point of contact should be the first aiders on site. You can contact them via the Information Desk.
Toilets The main toilets are in the stadium building which is open from 9am to 6pm. Additional toilets (including accessible) are provided.
Information For any other enquiries, please ask at the information desk as all our activities are based from there.

The information desk is the first when you drove into the park.

Waste We will have multiple bins on the site. Please put all your rubbish in them. We will have volunteers picking up litter and small litter bins for the public. If we have enough volunteers, we will send them round to collect any rubbish you have and to empty the bins.
Lost people Any lost children / parents / vulnerable adults, please contact any organiser, volunteer or the information desk.
Vouchers We give out £3 vouchers to our volunteers who give up their time to help make the event a success. Please accept £3 vouchers for food or any other product / service you sell. When you return them to us (by 6:30pm) you will be given £3 for each one.
Volunteers We are all volunteers. None of us is paid to do this – we do it to create a great community festival. Any help you can give to assist us is welcome. Also if you want to be on the team for next year, please get in touch.
Comments If you have any feedback (e.g. suggestions for next year), please drop them off at the information booth (there will be paper and pens for your comments). All feedback is welcome and you may see things from a stall perspective that organisers do not see.
East Reading Festival is not responsible or liable for any activities or incidents outside its control.

3rd Battle of the Aisne

An uncle I never knew.

Henry Allen Spurgeon

Date of Death: 27/05/1918
Service No: 41601
Son of Henry and Susannah Spurgeon, of 43, Francis Avenue, Ilford, Essex.

Harry’s Record of Service paper

It is worth noting that after serving in the Essex Reg. for 18 months he requested, and got, a posting to the RASC and, specifically the Grove Park depot which is recorded online here.


Names are listed on the memorial by Regiments in order of precedence, under the title of each Regiment by rank, and under alphabetical rank.
The town of Soissons stands on the left bank of the River Aisne, approximately 100 kilometres north-east of Paris. The Soissons Memorial is easily identified by its massive white Portland stone construction.  The memorial register is kept at the Mairie where it may be consulted.

The original British Expeditionary Force crossed the Aisne in August 1914 a few kilometres west of Soissons, and re-crossed it in September a few kilometres east. For the next three and a half years, this part of the front was held by French forces and the city remained within the range of German artillery. At the end of April 1918, five divisions of Commonwealth forces (IX Corps) were posted to the French 6th Army in this sector to rest and refit following the German offensives on the Somme and Lys. Here, at the end of May, they found themselves facing the overwhelming German attack which, despite fierce opposition, pushed the Allies back across the Aisne to the Marne. Having suffered 15,000 fatal casualties, IX Corps was withdrawn from this front in early July, but was replaced by XXII Corps, who took part in the Allied counter attack that had driven back the Germans by early August and recovered the lost ground. The Soissons Memorial commemorates almost 4,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom forces who died during the Battles of the Aisne and the Marne in 1918 and who have no known grave. No. of Identified Casualties: 3881

The memorial was designed by G H Holt and V O Rees, with sculpture by Eric Kennington.



Eclipse 2017 is now completed. Don’t look here for images of the eclipse but friends and rellies of those present might like the memories.

August 21 2017 at Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City at Briarcliff. This is the scene before the eclipse….

The build-up to the second contact was as exciting as usual, but the atmosphere was exactly right (wrong) for cloud formation and as the temperature dropped cloud duly formed. However it was slow enough for us to see the corona for about 5 secs before the clouds won. Here are a couple of videos of the reaction…


Sue and I would like to thank Larry for the invitation to the party at Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor after the eclipse…

And there was a storm later that evening! Actually many storms that lasted all night (this screen grab from showing 52 strikes/minute) and blacked out the region…



ReadingAS bath Trip

Summer Meeting in Bath
Reading Astronomical Society
Saturday June 24th 2017 at 2pm.
Elwin Room
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution,
16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN
Members can visit the Herschel Museum of Astronomy
19 New King St, Bath BA1 2BL
Which is close by.
The meeting is free to members and guests.
There is plenty of time before and after to visit the museum and the many other sites in the city.

Contact form at top of page to advise attendance

Makes you think.

Back in 1983 the houses where I live were still being built. The bricklayers were laying bricks at a phenomenal rate and eventually they got to the plot next door. With them was a hod carrier, a small tough guy, whose job was to load clutches of bricks on a shoulder-carrier and get them to the brickeys asap.

He spoke English with a thick accent and because the job involved little intellectual capacity they made fun of him.

I knew he was Polish and wanted to know more, so got him into our kitchen on a tea-break.
“When did you leave Poland?”.
“1939, just before the Germans came.”
“What happened when you got to England.”
“They gave me a Spitfire.”

By Unknown - Dodatek do Nr. 119 "Ilustrowanego Kuryera Codziennego" z dnia 1 maja 1939 r.; s. IIlustrowany Kuryer Codzienny. 1939, nr 240 (31 VIII) s. 24Szlakiem Józefa Piłsudskiego; Warszawa: Wydawnictwo "Ra"; 1939; s. 121Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe (Sygnatura: 1-W-1548) (Polish National Digital Archive), Public Domain,
By Unknown – Dodatek do Nr. 119 “Ilustrowanego Kuryera Codziennego” z dnia 1 maja 1939 r.; s. IIlustrowany Kuryer Codzienny. 1939, nr 240 (31 VIII) s. 24Szlakiem Józefa Piłsudskiego; Warszawa: Wydawnictwo “Ra”; 1939; s. 121Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe (Sygnatura: 1-W-1548) (Polish National Digital Archive), Public Domain,