Graham Rule went up to the Calton Hill around 1am on the night of November 17th/18th to enjoy the spectacle among a small crowd of people - some of whom had seen an article in the Evening News about the Leonids with the title "Asteroid shower to entertain stargazers". (Graham insists that he did not promise the reporter an 'asteroid shower'.) Although the clouds cleared for the peak of the shower there was still a lot of haze and sky-glow - which he uses as an excuse for not recording any proper observations. He does report peaks of 3 or 4 meteors a minute (many of negative magnitudes, some with trails) and a very enjoyable period 'shooting-star-gazing'.
Will Joy, Alison Duncan and Dave Gavine saw only a few Leonids from Joppa on the night of Nov 16/17, then on the following night, the maximum, they managed just over an hour in a poor sky with limiting magnitude 4 and no better than 4/8 cloud. 136 Leonids and 2 sporadics were seen, but apart from one huge flash within the clouds the general magnitudes of the meteors were fainter than those of the rich shower of Nov 16/17 last year. Other observers had similar fortunes.
Faint auroral light was seen by Dave Gavine at Joppa on Aug 22/23, Oct 10/11, 11/12, and Nov 8/9. Ron Livesey saw auroral light at Inveraray on Nov 13/14. There has been some magnetic activity, which infuriatingly nearly always coincides with overcast conditions, and as the sun is becoming very active, a big auroral display is long overdue. So watch the northern sky on every possible occasion.
Lorna. Ron and Dave continue to monitor variable stars. R Coronae faded in the autumn but it is now becoming too low in the west for us to check.