Lythe Primary School Event

Lythe Primary School was the venue of the societies first outreach event of 2023 on Wednesday, Jan 11th, bringing back memories of star party events hosted there around the turn of the millennium. 

Lythe Primary School in Lythe Village.

The evening so nearly didn't happen, the forecast being far from straight forward, heavy rain for early evening, giving way to a somewhat clearer, breezy interlude before further rain overnight.  It looked like a question of timing.

Mark ferried two dobsonians up to the School late afternoon, just as the heavens opened, turning the hard standing playground area into a shallow paddling pool.  This in a strange way was rather reassuring, matching the timing of the forecast bad weather.  By 6pm the rain had ceased giving way to somewhat clearer skies overhead as Mark, Keith and Brian loaded the remainder of the equipment at Marks house before heading up to Lythe. 

On arrival we were ushered in through the School gates, greeted by event organiser Farrah, who had initially contacted Mark regarding a Star Party event.  Already present on site was society member - Paul Woods, who had set up his GOTO scope.  Conditions were passable, but not ideal, with banks of high cloud drifting around.  It was decided to observe first and then do the scale solar system demo later. 

Following an announcement, the assembled throng, a mixture of pupils, parents and teachers (over 60 in total!), streamed out of the main hall and waited their turn at the eyepieces.  It was not easy maintaining objects (chiefly Jupiter) in the eyepiece, wind and small hands often causing loss of target acquisition.  We persevered, pointing out visible constellations, but as sky transparency diminished, it was decided to head indoors, warm up, eat a few Hot Dogs and tackle the scaled solar system. 

Mark took charge of this, leaving Keith, Brian and Paul to maintain a vigil outdoors for the time being.  The audience inside appeared eager and willing to participate with the scale solar system demo, a slightly revised version due to hall size restrictions.  This was followed by a few Q&As and a game of pass the meteorite.  Conditions outside had deteriorated, cloud cover preventing meaningful observations and as the clock turned 8:30pm we started re-packing the equipment away. 

All in all, not too bad an evening.  Pupils had been excited to look through a telescope at a planet (and apparently were still talking about it the following day), and it is hoped another event will be staged next year.