ASE logo The Astronomical Society of Edinburgh


No 59 - March 2009

Astronomical Society of Edinburgh
Annual General Meeting

Annual General Meeting Announcement

The Annual General Meeting of the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh will be held in the studio (downstairs, lift available) of the Augustine Church, George IV Bridge, EH1 1EL, at 8 pm on Friday 13th March 2009. The Agenda will be:

Please note that only members who have paid their subscription for the 2008-09 session are eligible to take part in this meeting.

The meeting will be followed by a presentation by Angus Self on meteorites.

Graham Rule, Secretary

Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on 21st March 2008


The meeting was opened by the President, Iain McEachran, at 8:05 pm.


Apologies had been received from Alan Pickup and Graham Clark.

Minutes of the AGM of 16th March 2007

These, having been circulated, were approved on a motion proposed by Danny Gallacher and seconded by Steuart Campbell.

Presentation of Annual Report and Accounts

The Annual Report and Accounts from the Council of the Society for the year 2007 had been circulated in advance of the meeting. The Officers of the Society were available to speak to the formal report.

Graham spoke about recent developments regarding the Observatory. He has recently heard from the City Council that work to replace the roofing felt, temporary repairs, on the Observatory roof had been approved and a budget of around £13,000 allocated. Builders have been instructed to start work on this. As some of the felt has now come away and there is some water getting into the Transit Room (fortunately not at the telescope) it is hoped that this will happen as soon as possible.

Work on the Observatory House's £33,000 project is continuing. Although it it running a little late it is expected to be completed by the middle of the year. It has been suggested that it may make a suitable headquarters for the World Heritage Trust and Graham suggested that they might make a very suitable neighbour for the Society.

The Society are contacted from time to time about the state of the Time Ball on the Nelson Monument and this has historical connection with the Observatory. A full survey of the mechanism has been carried out and plans put in place for it to be restored. Unfortunately it has recently become apparent that further work on the tower itself will be needed.

The World Heritage Trust have pledged some money towards the preparation of the Management Plan for the Calton Hill. The City are currently in the process of approaching another trust for further funds. The World Heritage Trust have also supported an AHRB PhD Studentship at the University of Edinburgh in the architectural history of the Calton Hill Buildings.

Overall, Graham was up-beat about the situation as it seems that, in addition to the moral support of the City Council, there finally seems to be some money coming available.

Steuart Campbell asked about the financial position of the Society as it appeared that we were running with a £1800 annual deficit. Alan Ellis responded that we were not currently demanding the interest payments on the funds in the Trust to which we are entitled. This was because the Trust is currently getting a better interest rate than the Society. Overall the situation is roughly level. However we have had a decline in income because we can no longer host local Radio Groups in the small domes which have been vandalised. Additionally, quite a few subscriptions had not been received by the end of the financial year. Many of these have since been paid.

Steuart asked whether it was time we should be introducing economies in the Society. It was suggested that, instead, we should be trying to get new members. This seems to be a difficult problem in most societies nowadays.

Ray Fenouhlet asked about the Society's expenditure as he was concerned that the amount we spent on insurance seemed rather high. The Officers explained that the Society does actually have quite a lot of valuable equipment and that we also had Public Liability cover. Utilities were the next highest cost. Alan reported that we had signed up to a lower rate with Scottish Power in return for staying with them for a certain period. When that period expires the Council will examine the possibility of switching to a cheaper provider. After utilities, we have communication costs. Steuart asked about these and was concerned that we seemed to spend a great deal on printing the Journal. Iain noted that we had now purchased a printer in order to reduce ongoing costs. Steuart questioned the wisdom of this as we were also suggesting to members that they forgo the printed copy in preference for an online one. It was noted that the printer was available for other printing needs of the Society - such as occasional leaflets.

Election of Officers and Council for 2008-2009 session

The following nominations had been received:

Iain McEachran
Daniel Gallacher, Kenneth Thomas
Graham Rule
Alan Ellis
Des Loughney, Horst Meyerdierks, David Small

These members were declared to have been elected unopposed.

Three Council Members who were stepping down at the end of their term of office: Pete MacDonald, Maurice Frank and Adelaide Webster. The AGM thanked them for their service to the Society.

There are three vacancies on the Council and the newly elected Council will look to co-opt interested members.


There being no further business the President closed the AGM and gave his Presidential Address, "We are stardust".


Cover page

Forthcoming events

Moonwatch in North Berwick

Observing session at the dark sky site, Addiewell

2009 A Space Odyssey

Annual General Meeting

Annual Report for 2008

Society news

About the ASE Journal

This journal as a single web page

This journal as PDF file (350 kByte)

Annual report as PDF file (110 kByte)

web: ISSN 1756-5111
print: ISSN 1756-5103

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