The Society’s committee are members who have volunteered to organise the activities of the Society and generally make it function as the organisation it is today. Although we take on formal titles out of tradition, it’s a fairly informal committee. If you’re at one of our events and want to know more about the Society, please come and speak to one of us.
The committee members for 2018–19 are:
Science teacher by day, astronomer by night, Jamie allegedly leads a BeeGee's tribute band in his spare time. He also has the honour of being the Chairman of the society. We say honour...
Clare's shoe collection continues to grow for reasons unknown to science. Our ace organiser keeps the committee in line and is learning a bit about astronomy too.
Geoff describes himself as an "armchair astronomer", but we'll let him off as he knows his way around a balance sheet.
Matthew BarrettOutreach Officer
If you have a school, brownie, cub, guide, scout group, etc wanting to book an astronomy event, then Matthew is your man.
Paul BlakesleyPR & Starfest
Paul is incredibly shy and we have to force him to speak. Nervous around cameras, he hates selfies almost as much as he hates Star Wars. Also known to fabricate biographies such as this.
Andy DownmanEquipment Director
Will shop for astronomy related goods. King of the barbecues too. (Mrs D plays a key role here).
Ian LauwerysCommittee Member
Ian loves astro-photography due to his uncanny ability to sit around in front of the telly for hours whilst his telescope is outside in the cold. He describes his role on the committee as 'head of special projects', which we think is code for 'finding the nearest pub'.
Cheryl MatthewsCommittee Member
Cheryl is, alas, allergic to telescopes. On the plus side, she is our queen of baking and provides cakes for the Thursday night club meetings. She is in charge of the merchandise at our events and is working with our chairman to set up a new 'young astronomers' club.
Val is our generous patron who kindly gives us access to the site where our observatory is. She is at the observatory every week and is always accompanied by astro-dog and honorary member "Smudge."
Andy StylesEvents Manager
Andy is the man who rustles up speakers for our monthly public lectures.
Mark WalkerObservatory Director
Mark recently coordinated the unenviable task of replacing our observatory roof. We now call him Mr Hardhat - affectionately of course.
Rachel EatonOutreach Crew
In a department of scientists, Rachel has managed to earn herself the title of "geek". That's quite an achievement!
John ExcellOutreach Crew
Not that he's overcompensating for something, but John always brings two telescopes to outreach events. Proudest moment: Successfully identifying Cassiopeia without Simon's help.
Little Jimmy ExcellOutreach Crew
The youngest member and wannabe mascot of the Outreach Crew, Little Jimmy uses his extensive skills in incoherent mumbling and memes to bring Astronomy to the youth of Essex. Awards: Voted two years running "Least likely to survive in to adulthood".
Simon GilfrinOutreach Crew
Simon has demonstrated great artistic skill and has his own mug at the Observatory - touch it at your peril. His grand designs for a laser glove have yet to come to fruition, but we're sure it won't be long. Favourite thing to talk about: The Garnet Star. Do ask him about it, but please make sure we're not around first.
Chris HolmesOutreach Crew
Chris is a newcomer to the group but has already discovered that if he asks how he can help, we will find him a job! And that's not put him off (yet).
Brian MatthewsOutreach Crew
Brian is something of a genius when it comes to both woodwork and welding. As long as he doesn't get the welding tools and the woodwork ones mixed up, everything will be fine.
Dee ParkerOutreach Crew
Dee uses the stories behind the constellations making her descriptions of the night sky almost poetic. Also discoverer of space worms - slightly less poetic.
Terry ReganOutreach Crew
Terry is a model man. And by that we mean he makes models. He is the Chief Spacecraft Model Builder for the Institute of Interstellar Studies.