Wednesday 10th April 8:00pm


Telescope Choices


John Timmins


A chemist and materials scientist by profession, I have been observing since 1964 and a BAA member since 1969.

Always more interested in telescopes than pure astronomy, what Americans label a ‘TN’. I have owned virtually every brand and type of amateur sized telescopes.

I set up Peak 2 Valley Instruments 10 years ago, after early retirement, to produce high quality telescopes. P2V has supplied refractors to 12 inch aperture, supplied and installed several school observatory projects and even quoted for a 5m RC installation for the Indian Department of Science.

I am very concerned at the decline in visual observing technique and interest, which of course coincides with the progress of digital imaging.

Over many years I have discussed image quality with leading opticians worldwide and will reveal details in the talk that many suspect but few are prepared to utter in terms of telescope performance. The discussion will be based on actual performance and not solely theoretical considerations.

In particular, I will point listeners in the direction of not only improved images, visual and photographic, but also cheaper and more portable, user friendly equipment.


What is in the sky for the next few weeks


Following the above talk we will have a short comfort break then Martin Weston will talk us through what to look out for should we get a chance to take our telescopes outside.


Have a look at Terry's Sky Notes too which gives news about up and coming events.

Meetings held at:

The View (Formerly Fairway Tavern)

Panshanger Golf Complex

Old Herns Lane,

Welwyn Garden City,



Tel:01707 336007

Membership details:


● £20 per year*


● Non-members £3.50 first 3 meetings  then annual membership subscription due pro rata for remaining meetings.


● Free to under-18s and full-time students. Proof of status may be required


● Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

What happens at our meetings?


Doors open at 7:00 for the meeting due to start at 8:00 but several club members and friends gather before this to have a drink and chat in the bar.


Following welcome announcements we have a guest speaker who speaks on the subject of the evening for about 45 - 60 minutes.  This is followed by questions relating to the talk.


Announcements about forthcoming events follow.


You can then choose from the following activities:


1. If the weather is clear telescopes and binoculars brought by members are set up outside for some observation.  Members doing so will be pleased to share their scopes with others.


2.  Learn about what will be coming into view in the next few weeks with an extra talk at 9:30.


3. If you need help with some equipment then now is your chance to bring it in.  Others in our club will be more than willing to help you.  Don’t be shy, we get just as excited about a telescope bought at the charity shop for £20 as we do one costing many times more.


4. Just socialise with others - about anything!


We look forward to seeing you.  No need to book - just turn up.


Proposed Programme for 2018-19

(Subject to Change)

September 12th

Roger O'Brien

'oumuamua and other things out there

October 10th

Mark Thompson

The Bayfordbury Observatory

November 14th

Martin Braddock

Artificial Gravity

December 12th

Alice Sheppard

Galaxy Zoo

January 9th

Martin Hardcastle

Surveying the sky for radio galaxies

February 13th

Paul Money

Images of the Universe - Part 3

March 13th

Alistair Scott

Britain in Space

April 10th

John Timmins

Telescope Choices

May 8th

Bob Marriott

Silver-on-Glass Revolution and AGM

June 12th

Jerry Stone

Apollo 11 - 50 years on the Moon