Rock legend’s bid to create lasting tribute to friend Sir Patrick Moore

Sir Patrick Moore with Brian May
Sir Patrick Moore with Brian May
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ROCK legend Brian May has lent his weight to creating a lasting tribute to his good friend and fellow astronomer Sir Patrick Moore.

The Queen guitarist, who was inspired to take up astronomy as a child when watching Sir Patrick on television in The Sky At Night, bought Sir Patrick’s home when the astronomer fell on hard times.

He said initial plans to turn Farthings, in Selsey, into a museum had fallen through, however he would place ‘certain constraints’ on the sale of the property to prevent the land being sold for ‘money-making housebuilding’.

Trustees at the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester now hope to convert derelict buildings on their Kingsham Farm site to create a study centre using Sir Patrick’s books, alongside a museum and astronomical garden.

Dr John Mason, from the planetarium, was a friend of Sir Patrick for 45 years.

He said: ‘Brian May said he was minded to give any profits from the sale of Farthings to the planetarium. That is a wonderful thing for him to do and we are incredibly grateful.

‘The idea is to set up an extension of what we do here to provide a place where people can learn more about astronomy.

‘This would be the biggest astronomical library in private hands outside the Royal Astronomical Society in London. People could browse the latest books and students could use the centre which would have the ambience of Sir Patrick’s library.’