An Evening with the Stars

A star-studded extravaganza for Derwenthorpe’s young astronomers!

Once, on a planet close by, the people who lived in a place called Derwenthorpe, enjoyed three talks on astronomy and several star-gazing evenings. Since then the universe has grown, stars have been born and in March 2020, as part of the Great Covid-19 Lockdown, there was a surge of new interest in astronomy – especially by young people.

So, by popular request Derwenthorpe Residents’ Association -in celestial alignment with the York Astronomical Society- invites you to an evening of exciting astronomy specially aimed at young people and their families. Join us as we Zoom into space, accompanied by local expert astronomers and a chance to learn more about the stars above our own backyard.

The 40 minute programme will include:

  1. ‘Seeing Stars’ – stunning imagery by astronomers in York,
  2. Practical star-gazing in Derwenthorpe – how, where, when,
  3. How telescopes work – how to get started, cheaply,
  4. ‘The Sky at Night’ – Derwenthorpe-style,
  5. The York Observatory – only minutes away at Murton
  6. Looking to the future.

Ideal for all children between the ages of 6 and 103. An evening with the Stars will appear on a Zoom screen on a computer, smartphone or tablet at 7.00pm on Wednesday 25th November. Unlike the stars**, numbers are limited, so to obtain your free Zoom invitation contact David Friend now:

* York Astronomical Society

**Not strictly true, Ed.

The featured image above shows the Galliean moons (of Jupiter). Shot through a cheap telescope from a balcony in Derwenthorpe in May 2018.


Quiz Bingo update

New Zoom link

Use Passcode: 473156. 😬

Another chance to play the fun family quiz with a difference!

Derwenthorpe’s Quiz Bingo

On Zoom this Friday, 13th November, 7:30 – 8:30pm.

Doors open at 7:15pm

20 players/teams limit 

First come first served!

Note, this post is an update to the earlier post, in which we used the wrong Zoom link: the link is now passcode: Passcode: 473156

Please accept my apologies for any confusion this change might cause.


Quiz Bingo tonight

Another chance to play the fun family quiz with a difference!

Derwenthorpe’s Quiz Bingo

On Zoom this Friday, 13th November, 7:30 – 8:30pm.

Doors open at 7:15pm

20 players/teams limit 

First come first served!

See you on Zoom at 7:15

Update: the link is now Apologies for any confusion this might cause.

covid LotsOn

Lockdown socials

While we are unable to meet in person, we’re organising Zoom socials.  Why not join us for a chat with some of your neighbours?.  Bring your own coffee!  

Here are the times, and links. Bookmark this page for future reference.

Friday at 11 a.m.  

Tuesday at 3.30 p.m

aglow LotsOn

Derwenthorpe Aglow

A brighter run up to Christmas! 

Derwenthorpe Aglow is a display of home-made ‘stained glass’ effect pictures in windows during December. Join in this year! Learn how, at the workshop on Sat 24th Oct 2pm on Zoom.

If you would like to join in, participate in the workshop, and get your free starter pack, please email us with your name and address, at or phone 07712 872343.

A 2019 window


DPAC + DGG tomorrow

Our next meetings of DPAC and DGG are on Zoom tomorrow, Wednesday October 7 from 6pm. Papers, and joining instructions are at

DGG will be considering Terms of Reference for an exciting new project “ABC:Derwenthorpe”. Join us to find out more!


Scything the Sheep Field

(and raking)

There’s another opportunity to try your hand at scything, on Tuesday 6 October, 10.00 am until noon.  This workshop will be run by Jonathan from St Nicks, and spaces are limited to six because of current social distancing regulations.  If you’ve scythed before and want to refresh your skills, you’re most welcome to come along as well.  If you’re not sure about scything, then come along and help do some raking.  There’s plenty of room for us all to work safely.  All you need is a pair of gardening-type gloves and sturdy footwear.  If you want to give it a whirl and help look after our “sheep field”, please email Wendy at as soon as possible, so that we can make sure there’s enough equipment for everyone.  

Sheep Field: the light green area alongside St Aelred’s Mews here.


Keys found

A bunch of keys has been found on Lotherington. Our neighbour found them about 10 days ago, apparently, on Lotherington. Please phone or text Ian on 07876123969 if you think they might be yours. They definitely look like Derwenthorpe keys.

Heating Houses


Derwenthorpe resident Catherine Jardine asked Studio Partington -(who designed our houses) for advice about controlling summer heat. We start with some tips on how to use what you’ve got, and then there’s some advice about external shades that you can add. And if you want to learn more, there’s a guide from the NHBC, also written by Partington Studios.

Keeping your house cool

Good ventilation is … key. … Get cool air circulating through the house in the early morning and late evening and then close everything down once the external temperature [is above] the internal temperature (this is second nature in a Mediterranean climate, but not so in Yorkshire!).

The worst time is usually mid to late afternoon, when … heat is coming into the home directly from the sun and when the [air] temperature outside is also high, ….

Richard Partington, Studio Partington

So when it’s going to be a hot day (over, say, 19 degrees), keep your doors, windows, and blinds closed during the heat of the day to stop the house getting too hot: you can’t cool a house down with warm air, even if it is breezy. In the evening, when it’s cooled down again, open windows front and back to get the house cooled down again.

Check the windows and doors section of our house guide, to find out how to prop your windows open safely. Open them front and back, to allow cool air to flow through.

External shading

Some form of sunshading externally will certainly help prevent unwanted solar gains but there are some things to think about if a shading device is retrofitted. Firstly it is much easier to control south facing direct sunlight rather than east or west.

On a south side the sun is high and a structure projecting horizontally from above a window will shade the window by approximately the depth of the projection (sun being at 50 or so degrees height in June).

Low level east and west sun is much harder to control and is usually shaded with vertical fins or some kind of draw down external blind. Both of these are difficult (as is the traditional Mediterranean shutter) with the way we make windows in the UK, which are always outward opening to keep the rain out.

Richard Partington, Studio Partington

Note that close fitting internal blinds can also be effective, if you use them well.

This kind of shade isn’t useful with outward opening windows.

I attach some examples of what can be done as a retro-fit. The … wall will need to support the load of the shade so there will often be struts or cables and fixings at several points back to the brick work.

As with most things the best solutions come from traditional simple to operate means such as shutters, which would work over non-opening windows, but there are more sophisticated and automated systems. The most innovative manufacturer is Renson, who do commercial and domestic shading systems.

The little guide we did a few years ago for NHBC (also attached) explains the problems we are starting too see in well insulated homes and although more of an issue in urban areas people are beginning to be concerned about rural schemes as well.

Richard Partington, Studio Partington

Read more:

Global warming means we’re seeing longer, hotter summers. Air conditioning makes it worse: and is expensive to use, but shading and natural ventilation are free. So we hope this guide will be useful to you!


ARM this evening

We’ve published the zoom link for this evening’s (6pm) All Residents Meeting, on the web page for the meeting at

You’ll find papers for the meeting at that page (but some are still to be published). If you want to go directly to the Zoom meeting, then it’s at

Meeting ID: 946 0698 2986 (I don’t know why you’d need this, but just in case!)
Passcode: 319659