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Est. 1981 B.A.S. history

Friday the 20th of November 2020, saw the 39th anniversary of the Bridgend Amateur Astronomical Society, it was formed by in 1981 by three local astronomy enthusiasts, Laurie Brophey, Frank Morris and of course, myself Joan Hawkins.

From our humble beginnings, our first meeting took place at The Committee Room at Bridgend Sports Centre (now the Recreational Centre) on Friday 20th November 1981, with around 18-20 potential new members turning up at a cost of 30p per person towards room hire fees and of course the included cups of tea and biscuits.

The society went from strength to strength, with a good program of talks given by astronomers from Cardiff and Swansea Astronomical Societies also from our very own Observation Officer Martin Griffiths and to round off the evening, we would all meet at the bar of the recreation centre for a pint and a friendly chat.

I am very proud to say of the society has moved on over the years but the success has remained.

In the beginning we had to advertise the society by putting up homemade posters around in local shop windows, sometimes we had to pay to do this, and if we were lucky enough to have clinched a small free advert in our local newspaper The Gazette that helped enormously. We went on to organise fund raising events, jumble sales, sponsored skittle and darts matches, weekly raffles etc, to help raise money for our outgoing expenses, which was all good friendly fun. With the huge advances of the internet and technology, along with Hubble space telescope able to take the most amazing pictures of the ever expanding universe, our knowledge has taken astronomy to the next level, with our hugely successful society welcoming everyone from all levels of astronomy, from absolute beginners to professionals, from all walks of life, the young and the old, I am pleased to say that the warm, friendly and helpful welcome is still going as strong today as it was always meant to be.

May it continue for the next 39 years and beyond.

I would to thank the present committee for all their hard work going on behind the scenes for presenting us the amazingly successful Bridgend Astronomical Society that we are today, I am sure the other two founders, Laurie Brophy and Frank Morris would be very proud of BAS's achivements.

Joan Hawkins founding member.