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Astro Pub - what do you think?


Jim-a
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A friend of mine and I have been talking about organising an Astronomy-in-a-pub-garden event, somewhere near where we live in Reading. Its not an original idea, but it seems like a good one - We'll pick a date and a country pub in a dark-ish spot with an amenable Landlord, then if it's clear people can use the beer garden for some informal observing... If it's cloudy (surely not) then we still meet and chat about astronomy over a pint.

While we were talking we wondered how easy to would be to help other people set up similar events in other places, so in a fit of enthusiasm I got hold of astropub.co.uk and set up a site that will register peoples interest in either attending, or organising an event.

Here's where we could do with some help.... obviously if you would be interested in either going along to something like this (or if you would fancy having a go at setting one up near where you live) then go the the site and sign up. Our plan will be to plot all the interest on a map and cross-fingers that will result in a some informal beer garden astronomy in other parts of the country as well.

I threw the site together yesterday and it hasn't really been tested thoroughly yet (especially on Windows with Internet Explorer), so if you hit any problems then I'd be super grateful if you could let me know and I'll fix them.

Its early days yet, so if anyone has any experience of doing similar, or has any ideas, tips, or can think of any gotcha's then please share them. If we get enough interest our aim would be to make an info-pack type thing for potential organisers to help them get something off the ground, and we would build some tools into the website to help organisers promote and manage their events.

What do you think?

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Sim - Haven't really thought through venues yet - for the one Mike & I are going to organise we were going to get the maps out for south or west of Reading - you have anywhere suitable in mind?

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Have you thought about the Bell Inn at Aldworth ( just up the hill from Goring ). I haven't been there for some time but in the old days the Gent's was known as the Observatory - as it had no roof !!!!!! :grin: :grin: :grin: On the plus side, it serves excellent beer, is a proper country pub and is right on top of the Ridgeway with very little light polution. On the down side, it serves excellent beer, is a proper country pub and I might forget that I have to drive home............ :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: ( just remembered, missus can't drive :sad: )

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You could advertise it as a Stars and Bars night. I'm slightly concerned about the risk to observing equipment by attendees who have imbibed too much loopy juice before venturing into the pub garden. All those cables plus impaired judgment through Vino Collapso, ouch! :drunken_smilie::icon_puke_r:

Edited by onesmallstep
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Cool idea - I've often thought that the car park/garden of our local would be a fantastic observing spot! Lovely open SW views. it's just about to open again after being closed for a year - maybe I'll pitch the idea to them! I'm in - I could walk home. :grin:

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thanks for the enthusiasm everyone - the signups are starting to trickle in, so maybe theres something in it after all...

Carl - no franchise here - just go ahead and set something up near you... looks like astropub.se is free :)

Great to hear venue suggestions - also interested in coming up with a list of what people think would make a good venue... e.g. able to block lights out, shielded from car headlamps in the car park, power etc what else?

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Sim - Haven't really thought through venues yet - for the one Mike & I are going to organise we were going to get the maps out for south or west of Reading - you have anywhere suitable in mind?

It's a long time since I've been out in a pub anywhere near Reading, but depending on how far you want to go a few possibilities might be the Red House at Marsh Benham, the Dundas Arms in Kintbury, the Furze Bush in Ball Hill, possibly the Fox and Hounds north of Newbury, though I've no idea how that fared when the A34 was moved. Easier to get to would have been the Berkshire Arms in Midgham, but that appears to be right next to a Premier Inn now, so it's probably lit up light a christmas tree. The Rising Sun at Stockcross could be worth investigating, not least because they serve beer from the West Berks Brewery.

Cold Ash, north of Thatcham might be worth looking into though I imagine there'd still be a fair bit of light pollution, or the place where "Kate"'s family lives, the name of which temporarily escapes me. They're probably too posh to let people in now. Never mind. I remember when it was the place all the local boy racers went to crash their carelessly modified cars and where joy riders set fire to theirs.

James

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Thats an encyclopaedic knowledge of country pubs around Reading James :) ... Misspent youth??? Seriously, thanks though - will add them to our list of pubs to check out over the next week or two.

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Thats an encyclopaedic knowledge of country pubs around Reading James :) ... Misspent youth??? Seriously, thanks though - will add them to our list of pubs to check out over the next week or two.

Well, I moved to Newbury after I graduated and lived there, in Theale and in Sindlesham for around fifteen years until my wife and I decided we were going to move to the south west so I had plenty of time to explore. Things have changed a huge amount since we lived there so unfortunately I can't vouch for the suitability of those pubs now, but they'd certainly have been worth investigating when I was frequenting them :)

James

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after tonight, several pints,a few(well placed) tweets and a pair of bins... its a great idea and not too hard to work out.

with my (bresser 8x56) beer googles i pointed out,

the big bright one over there,spot some craters(yup! the moon)

you see that bright star, focus in and you can see some smaller stars to the right, they're moons too.....(jupiter)

and for those interested and not amazed at how stupidly cold it is tonight, just below the belt in the middle of the sword is a fuzzy bit, and thats where i started............

it ended not long ago with me trying to explain AP while drunk and knowing little about the subject but still retracing the 'tour' thru my scope in the garden(ok, there was (and can be only one highlander!) only one 'keen' eos owner BUT!!!!! he found 7 sisters!!!

i claim this as a good night and i stand up for the idea, as simple as it may be, as being the seed you all may need....

(i should point out that one of the first to take a peep was a nursery school(x5) owner so think about involving the local PTA and maybe think of the brian cox aspect of your local pub carpark;) )

remember, tiny acorns came from MIGHTY GALAXYS;)

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