Tiverton and Mid Devon
Astronomy Society

[ History of our society | Contact info and maps ]

Tiverton A. S. was founded in 1985. We are a group of friendly people who meet around once a month for lectures and talks. We also organise other social events and outings, and offer regular observing sessions to see the wonders of the night sky. Douglas Rice, our chairman, has run the society since its inception. We are a member of the Federation of Astronomical Societies (FAS).

Neil directs the Meade LX-90     The society's old newtonian sees frequent use


One year's membership costs 14, or 10 for children, senior citizens or if unwaged. Everyone is welcome to come along to our meetings - non-members will be charged £2 at the door.

A brief history...

Tiverton Astronomy Society began in 1985, when Graham West convened a gathering of people in the town interested in the subject. Regular meetings began, often with visiting speakers who have covered a wide range of topics from Planetary Geology to Astrology, and from The Soviet Space Programme to Observing the Moon. Visits to other societies and observatories have also been arranged.

Run informally for many years, the society has grown particularly strongly recently. Early in 2000 it became formally constituted.

Our telescope's history

At the time of the society's inauguration Douglas Rice, a teacher at Blundell's School, had recently discovered a fine 8" Newtonian telescope belonging to the school. With the help of a pupil, Nicholas Wood, and advice from Patrick Moore, he restored the instrument to working order. It was built about 1910, is extremely solid with a tube 7 ft long, and is very user-friendly (if you don't mind climbing a step-ladder).

The telescope has been at Blundell's since at least the Second World War. For some years it was situated on the Blundell's clock tower, where it tended to be used by the boys for spying activities! With the school's support the instrument was re-housed in a wheel-off shed near Milestones (now Blundell's Prep School) on Blundell's road (see map). For 15 years it has been the focus for public observing sessions as well as seeing use by pupils and local groups. These days several members also bring their own modern instruments to these sessions.

Contact details

The best way to contact us if you have any queries is via e-mail: nick@tivas.org.uk. You can also call a member of the committee if you wish; our telephone numbers are listed below. Please call at a sociable hour of the evening - between 5pm and 8pm is ideal!

Position Name Tel. No.
President Douglas Rice 01884 252942
Chairman Neil Purves 01884 277425
Treasurer Angela Cousins 01884 243186
Programme Carol Boote 01884 855377
Publicity John Parratt 01271 372331
Secretary Caroline Jones 01884 252944
Membership Andrew Jones 01884 252944
Website/AV Nick Markell 01884 242619
If you wish to call us, please do so
between the hours of 5pm and 8pm.

You can also contact us by e-mail.


How to find us

The maps below, provided by Blundell's School, show how to find us. The first shows how to find Blundell's and the second is a map of Blundell's and Blundell's Prep. Click on either to see a full-size version.

Map - M5 Junction 27 to Blundell's (6 KB) - links to a larger 19 KB version

Map - Blundell's & St. Aubyn's (8 KB) - links to a larger 26 KB version