Fond tribute paid to Sir Patrick Moore

Sir Patrick Moore and Denis Buczynski
Sir Patrick Moore and Denis Buczynski

A Lancaster amateur astronomer has paid tribute to Sir Patrick Moore, his friend of 30 years, who died on Sunday, aged 89.

Denis Buczynski remembers first meeting Sir Patrick at Lancaster University when the astronomer and Sky At Night presenter visited in 1972.

Sir Patrick was then awarded an honorary Doctor of Science Degree in 1974 and Denis, who was also awarded the same honour in 1995, was at the university when Sir Patrick opened the Kathleen Ollerenshaw observatory on top of the physics building.

Denis, 61, who was also a butcher at Lancaster Market and chair of the market tenants association before it closed, recently moved to the far north of Scotland where he still continues to work for the British Astronomical Society.

Like Sir Patrick, he has had an asteroid named after him.

He said: “Sir Patrick was definitely a one off, and it’s sad to see him go.

“I last saw him in 2007 at a party at his house to celebrate 50 years of The Sky At Night on the BBC.

“I was involved in the Astronomical Society at Lancaster University, and was there when he arrived.

“I managed to speak to him, and we became quite friendly after that.

“My interest in astronomy goes back to the 1970s when I became interested in observing comets.

“My work involved taking photos of them, and measuring their positions as they moved across the sky and orbited around the sun.”

Denis is now retired and lives 40 miles north of Inverness where he continues to observe the skies for the British Astronomical Association.

He added: “Sir Patrick has been a friend throughout my life and he has had a good innings.

“He’ll never be forgotten and he certainly won’t be surpassed.”