On Monday evening Selsey celebrated the 90th birthday (March 4th) of its’ most famous resident – the late Sir Patrick Moore. The Selsey centre was packed with friends and colleagues, both past and present, in tribute to a most remarkable man and as a fund raising event for one of Patricks’ many projects he supported - St Wilfred’s Hospice in Chichester.
We enjoyed an evening of thoughts and reminiscences from both the world of astronomy and from friends in the village. Patrick was an accomplished musician and cricketer as well as a great astronomer. He wrote a hundred or so works for orchestra and xylophone and, to that end, his protégé Christopher Beaumont played a number of Patricks’ compositions for the xylophone.
The evening was made extra special by the presence of Brian May, Sir Tim Rice, John Culshaw and Paul Able (from the Sky at Night program)………
……..who shared with us their thoughts and experiences as close friends and astronomical colleagues of Patrick.
L to R: Paul Able, John Culshaw, Brian May, Tim Rice, Dr John Mason and Iain Nicholson.
The evening ended with a rendition of Happy Birthday and a toast to a brilliant, witty, generous and extra-ordinary man who touched and guided so many lives during his long and distinguished carrier. We also feel deeply privileged to have known him over the last few years and to have had his company at our own celebrations back in August last year. Thank you Patrick!
Another, and equally special event has happened this week – we’ve had the pleasure of daughters Vicky and Frances who have both been able to come down to see us!
“Ernie”, Vicky and Frances on a cold but sunny Selsey seafront on Monday.
Vicky had to return home on Monday evening but Frances and Kel have stayed on for a few more days and today we all went to Portsmouth for lunch and bit of retail therapy. This is Kel, Doug, Frances and “Hixie” on Spice Island with the Spinnaker Tower in the background.
Our visits to Portsmouth aren’t complete without a detour on the way home through Southsea to see the Isle of Wight hovercraft. It never fails to excite James!!