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michaelmorris

Kelling Heath Autumn 2016?

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Well having read this and been in contact with a friend at Kelling

I find that most of red field is already pre booked, I was gonna book when I arrive later this week, but the pitches I had in the past are already taken.

So how fair is that, when this year event not hardly started yet

Think it should be same rules for everyone

Starting on a set date and first come. Not pre booked for the elite few

Paul j

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You are correct, pitches 300 to 350 (top of the red field) have been initially reserved for the event organisers and another group (Society for deaf astronomers).  Whilst I agree it might feel a bit annoying, this is a private event and it doesn't seem to me to be unreasonable that event organisers should get first dibs at pitches.

I've booked on one of the new pitches south of the yellow field toilet block (pitch 167).  Whilst the northern horizon suffers from light pollution from the toilet block, the southern horizon is low and the site is sheltered from the wind (we lost a pole on our awning to high winds within an hour of arriving on Saturday!)

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You are correct, pitches 300 to 350 (top of the red field) have been initially reserved for the event organisers and another group (Society for deaf astronomers).  Whilst I agree it might feel a bit annoying, this is a private event and it doesn't seem to me to be unreasonable that event organisers should get first dibs at pitches.

I've booked on one of the new pitches south of the yellow field toilet block (pitch 167).  Whilst the northern horizon suffers from light pollution from the toilet block, the southern horizon is low and the site is sheltered from the wind (we lost a pole on our awning to high winds within an hour of arriving on Saturday!)

Unbelievable. 50 pitches! How can 50 pitches not be unreasonable? Given that it is no longer first-come-first-served by phone or in person, I suppose Kelling will become the preserve for the elite astronomers who are able to find the time to stay for a week or two. 

I feel sorry for the people who will be elbowed out by this change of policy, either not having a fair crack of the whip to attend for a couple of nights, or being relegated to the poorest of pitches. Hardly a great welcome for new people.

The winners are:

a ) the organisers

b ) Kelling Heath who will make more money from pitches being booked for longer

The losers are ordinary astronomers.

Shame!

Martin

Edited by cloudnine
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Seems to me that the best pitches should be available to those who spend the longest time there, like the deaf astronomers, like Loughton members, and a few others of us that make a week or two week holiday out of it.

But then I would say that :D leaving this morning for an 18 night break there :)

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Well it looks like I (and possibly many others) will be on the hunt for another event to attend.

The red field appears to have been booked up already, and I suspect the yellow and blue will not be far behind :(

I think 50 pitches is unreasonable too, especially as in previous years there always seems to be a number of pitches that are not taken up....

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Well it looks like I (and possibly many others) will be on the hunt for another event to attend.

The red field appears to have been booked up already, and I suspect the yellow and blue will not be far behind :(

I think 50 pitches is unreasonable too, especially as in previous years there always seems to be a number of pitches that are not taken up....

This is true of most events that are " fully booked " there are always empty spaces for one reason or another and SGL is not an exception. One year I was sited out of the main field when there were at least three empty spaces over the hedge :)

Given that Kelling seems to have become a victim of it's own success It does seem to be an opportunity for some enterprising site to start a star party on the same weekend.

Dave

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Seems to me that the best pitches should be available to those who spend the longest time there, like the deaf astronomers, like Loughton members, and a few others of us that make a week or two week holiday out of it.

But then I would say that :D leaving this morning for an 18 night break there :)

Tim, I was rather disappointed with these comments you made.  I would have thought that a Global Moderator would have shown more sensitivity and thoughtfulness.  If it was an attempt at humour I think it will fall rather flat with those unfortunate people that have not managed to secure a pitch.  Boastfulness is never pretty at the best of times and such an ' I'm all right ' attitude is probably not very helpful I would suggest.

If you're wandering, I do have a pitch for a few days, but I can still feel some sympathy for those that haven't.

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This is true of most events that are " fully booked " there are always empty spaces for one reason or another and SGL is not an exception. One year I was sited out of the main field when there were at least three empty spaces over the hedge :)

Given that Kelling seems to have become a victim of it's own success It does seem to be an opportunity for some enterprising site to start a star party on the same weekend.

Dave

True but we don't block out pitches - apart from the welcome/tea tent

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Tim, I was rather disappointed with these comments you made.  I would have thought that a Global Moderator would have shown more sensitivity and thoughtfulness.  If it was an attempt at humour I think it will fall rather flat with those unfortunate people that have not managed to secure a pitch.  Boastfulness is never pretty at the best of times and such an ' I'm all right ' attitude is probably not very helpful I would suggest.

If you're wandering, I do have a pitch for a few days, but I can still feel some sympathy for those that haven't.

As best as my memory allows, my recollection on being a mod/global mod/admin, we were not asked to drawer our personal opinions. We're even allowed to post our thoughts too.

but hey, you and ALL other members are entitled to express there opinions providing there are no personal attacks

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True but we don't block out pitches - apart from the welcome/tea tent

And definitely not that many!

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This is true of most events that are " fully booked " there are always empty spaces for one reason or another and SGL is not an exception. One year I was sited out of the main field when there were at least three empty spaces over the hedge :)

Given that Kelling seems to have become a victim of it's own success It does seem to be an opportunity for some enterprising site to start a star party on the same weekend.

Dave

There is also the point that just because a pitch is empty, doesn't mean it's not paid for. can hardly give it away only to have the owner turn up when the weather clears :)

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Kelling was good this year... the skies were kind, although the light pollution is getting noticeably worse.

Arrived Thursday 2pm. Asked at reception about pitches for next year. One pitch available on the red field, 11 on the yellow. While I did not raise the issue about the new booking procedure, there was a knowing roll of the eyes suggesting that the issue about next years pitches was a hot potato ... or maybe I read to much into it. Anyway, have been muscled off 'our' pitches for Equinox Autumn 2016 but trying hard not to feel hard done by. Have only been going for 11 years.

Back to this year, if I interpreted what I saw correctly, there were a number of pitches this year that were solely booked for observing groups, i.e. no actual residents on the pitch... which is a bit unfair. It would be good for the organisers to try and tighten up the guidance to achieve more efficient usage.

Martin

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This sort of controversy is always gonna arise when you have a "private" event at a public venue. It certainly doesn't seem a good business decision to reserve pitches for weekend visitors when they could be sold to folks who are staying a full week - it's bound to get people miffed and does nothing for Kelling's reputation.

This year on red field there were two whole rows totally empty on both sides for the first half of the week whilst regular long stayers found themselves under trees or on light polluted pitches. A little preference for organisers is not a bad idea - but 50 premium pitches is just daft unless they are fully paid and fully used.

I booked a minimally acceptable, "second choice" pitch on yellow for next year - but I fear it will be my last ever visit. I'll be looking for a more friendly, fair, and less cliquey star party for the future. :)

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Should probably start a new thread for this, but on the subject of alternative star parties which will obviously will clash with larger ones given the available dark / moonless nights I have a small 20 pitch "private" campsite available in South Downs proposed dark sky area.

Planning to check it out shortly to see how dark it actually is, only hearsay ATM.

Won't want it to clash with Hersty or SGL obviously :)

Off to Sixpenny Handley in a couple of weeks so may see if anyone there is interested, anyone else can PM me for a Google pic of the site, very remote defo no passing cars or public.

Dave

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Every year there are complaints about the booking system for the Autumn star party at Kelling. 

Some years they have announced the date that tickets will become availiable and there is a Glastonbury-style scrum to get through on the phone to get a pitch. - people complain that this disadvantages those at work on that day.

Some years they make no announcement and the website just changes on the day they can be booked - people complain that they missed out because there was no announcement.

Some years they have it that tickets are for sale first in-person only at 8:30am on the Friday of the Star Party - people complain about queueing.

This year it's was ticket for sale first in-person when you arrive at site - people complain that all the best pitches have gone by the time they arrive.

Basically, demand outstrips supply and there is no 'fair' way of allocating who gets which pitches, so the organisers and the site will be open to criticism what ever they do.  I suppose the only truely fair way of allocating pitches would be a lottery.  Who wants that?

Just my two penny worth.

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Every year there are complaints about the booking system for the Autumn star party at Kelling. 

Some years they have announced the date that tickets will become availiable and there is a Glastonbury-style scrum to get through on the phone to get a pitch. - people complain that this disadvantages those at work on that day.

Some years they make no announcement and the website just changes on the day they can be booked - people complain that they missed out because there was no announcement.

Some years they have it that tickets are for sale first in-person only at 8:30am on the Friday of the Star Party - people complain about queueing.

This year it's was ticket for sale first in-person when you arrive at site - people complain that all the best pitches have gone by the time they arrive.

Basically, demand outstrips supply and there is no 'fair' way of allocating who gets which pitches, so the organisers and the site will be open to criticism what ever they do.  I suppose the only truely fair way of allocating pitches would be a lottery.  Who wants that?

Just my two penny worth.

people don't want fair michael, they want tickets  :eek:

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I agree with you Michael, I'm just pleased I'm not one of the people organising the event.  If I was, I don't think I'd tell anyone!  A case of being damned if you do and damned if you don't. 

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Having read the comments above on this, I think that they should stick with the system where you can book for the Autumn party when you arrive for the spring party, this is what I did this year, that way the ones that do arrive for a longer stay, do get the better pitches as they are staying longer, I usually arrive for a week stay and find that, yes most of the best pitches  have been booked, but still find a half decent one to go on.

But I totally disagree with this "block booking of pitches " OK the organisers can book up in advance, but not 50 pitches, that's just not fair on everyone else and as they know when the party is going to be before anyone else, why do they have to block them out, if they are holding them for a " mate " then this is not fair and if it continues, I believe you will see the star party's attendance figures will start to drop as more and more astronomers find other venues to go to

That's my say on the subject, hope to see some of you in a few weeks time

 

   

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