Opening of the Jeanne Edyvean Centre

The Opening of the Jeanne Edyvean Centre at the NLO on Saturday 10th August 2019

Pete Lawrence (left), Diana Beasley (Sister of the late Jeanne Edyvean), Dr. Paul Abel, & David Strange (NLO Chairman).  Picture credit: Alan Green

Thirty four years ago in September 1985 the late Sir Patrick Moore opened our James Lockyer Planetarium having spearheaded the rescuing of the Norman Lockyer Observatory.  This enabled its subsequent purchase by East Devon District Council, from funds raised by our local community. The observatory is now run by the Norman Lockyer Observatory Society on behalf of the East Devon District Council who over the years have proved to be very supportive and accommodating landlords.

It was therefore very appropriate to maintain our links with Patrick Moore’s legacy, namely the BBC Sky at Night team, and invite his co-presenters along to our South West Astronomy Fair to open our new extension to the main building. Over the years the NLO has had tremendous financial support from the Sid Vale community for which we are all extremely grateful. With your help we built the Donald Barber Lecture Theatre in 2006, the Connaught Dome in 2012, and now in 2019 we have just completed a major extension to the main building with very grateful thanks in particular to the late Jeanne Edyvean and the Sid Vale Association’s Keith Owen Fund.

The new building we have named after long serving NLO member Jeanne Edyvean and call it the Jeanne Edyvean Centre. The main extension comprises a large open plan teaching and demonstration area which will be used as a classroom for our younger NLO members known as “Astroscouts”. This is also a very useful demonstration area for our British Science Week and Sidmouth Science Festival’s Family Day events held in March and October. Adjoining this we have a useful storage room. In addition, funds have also allowed us to build an extension to our Lockyer Technology Centre where we demonstrate radar and video detection of meteors and solar and geomagnetic activity.

The new building was formally opened on Saturday 10th August 2019 by the Sky at Night presenters, Paul Abel and Pete Lawrence having just delivered their talk on Observing Challenges. New members, particularly youngsters, are always welcome to join our society, please see our website for further details.

David Strange
NLO Chairman