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A Brief History of the Northants Amateur Astronomers

By Nick Freville, NAA President

My interest in astronomy dates back to the early seventies when I first went to an evening class on the subject and became hooked. It was only later in 1982 that I decided that I myself would attempt to give an evening class in astronomy at Latimer Comprehensive School, in Kettering, Northants. However, on the first night of opening there was only myself and three others and this was not viable.

It was then that I decided that we should form a local society and it was at this point that I became chairman, Sefton Ganney treasurer, Richard Phillips secretary and the remaining person would be a committee member. From that moment the society was formed. Richard Phillips drew up the first constitution naming us the Kettering and District Amateur Astronomers Society (KDAAS).

After publicity in the Evening Telegraph, Ketterings local newspaper, the initial meeting was held at the Manor House in Kettering (renamed ’The Manor House Museum’ some time later) and we continued with that venue for three years or so. Membership was low to start with and we either gave talks ourselves or invited a guest speaker to come along.

Things developed slightly more when our secretary resigned and Jim Higgins took over. Membership increased especially after observational meetings for Halley’s Comet. At the same time as this, we held an exhibition at a local church hall.

However, a few years later Jim resigned and the position of secretary fell to me. Steve Williams then took over and really boosted enthusiasm and membership. In 1996 it was decided to change the society’s name to Northants Amateur Astronomers in order to broaden appeal and cover the whole county.

Since this time, the NAA has gone from strength to strength and when an updated history is written lets hope that we have our own observatory.

NAA Members

NAA Members