Last Autumn, Friends of Goostrey Station were delighted that Goostrey Beavers held another meeting at our railway station. All the children were keen to sweep up fallen leaves, to plant daffodil bulbs in tubs and to investigate the bug hotels. They also enjoyed a craft activity in the Art Studio. Everyone worked hard and by the time they went home, the sun had set. As their parents collected them, a casual comment about being able to see stars and planets in the night sky, led to plans for another joint meeting.
Thus, early in February, FOGS treasurer and vice chair Craig Sidebotham, himself a a keen amateur astronomer, led an astronomy session at Goostrey Scout Hut. The aim was to help the Beavers achieve a Space Activity Badge.
To be successful each had to complete four challenges :
- Point out some of the things you can see in the night sky. It could be stars, the moon or planets.
- Point out and name at least one constellation you can see.
- Name the eight planets in our solar system and draw or make a model of one of the planets.
- Find out about a space mission, an astronaut or a planet in our solar system.
First Craig connected his lap top to a large TV screen and used a planetarium program to show the constellations and planets. He also demonstrated how the stars move across the sky during the night. Then the Beavers were given pictures of the sun and planets and they were asked to work out their order. After a lot of running around, the correct arrangement was established!
Next Craig used pictures to explain some of the missions into space including the Apollo Saturn 5 rocket, the moon landings and the International Space Station. At the end of the session, all the Beavers were excited to see two astronomical telescopes. Craig explained how they worked, but unfortunately the sky was cloudy and so the children were unable to use them outside. Perhaps this could be the focus of a second evening of astronomy!
Currently FoGS are planning another joint activity, this time with Goostrey Parish Archive. If you have photos or stories relating to the history of Goostrey railway station that you could share with FoGS, please get in touch with Chris Burgess on 07976 894737.
FoGS volunteers continue to meet each month at Goostrey station. There’s a car park, but you could choose greener transport by walking or cycling (there’s a new rack for your bike). You may have noticed a smart new noticeboard at the entrance to platform one. It’s there to help us to publicise FoGS and Goostrey Art Studio more effectively. You could also have a look at our website or email Craig Sidebotham on email@example.com