Complied by Tracie Heywood
The Astronomer has two annual awards: the ‘Alan Young’ award for the best contribution to the magazine cover and the ‘George Alcock’ award for best overall contribution to TA. Both awards are based on each magazine volume (May to April).
|Volume||Period||Cover Award||Overall Award|
|2||1965-66||K J H Phillips|
|10||1973-74||John E Bortle|
|15||1978-79||Nigel Scott||Peter Birtwhistle|
|16||1979-80||Brian Manning||Harold Hill|
|17||1980-81||Brian Manning||Dave Branchett|
|18||1981-82||Alan Young||Alan Young|
|19||1982-83||Alan Young||Rob McNaught|
|20||1983-84||Brian Manning||Rob McNaught|
|21||1984-85||Brian Manning||Rob McNaught|
|22||1985-86||Rob McNaught||Rob McNaught|
|23||1986-87||Jean Dragesco||Rob McNaught|
|24||1987-88||Gordon Garradd||Rob McNaught|
|25||1988-89||Terry Platt||Brian Manning|
|26||1989-90||Terry Platt||Brian Manning|
|27||1990-91||Jean Dragesco||Mark Kidger|
|28||1991-92||Jean Dragesco||Herman Mikuz|
|29||1992-93||Martin Mobberley||Paul Camilleri|
|31||1994-95||Martin Mobberley||Brian Manning|
|32||1995-96||Herman Mikuz||Bob Evans|
|33||1996-97||Lennart Dahlmark||Mark Armstrong|
|34||1997-98||Maurice Gavin||Mark Armstrong|
|35||1998-99||Nick James||Ron Arbour|
|36||1999-2000||Terry Platt||Tom Boles|
|37||2000-01||Arto Oksanen||Mark Armstrong|
|38||2001-02||Giovanni Sostero||Martin Mobberley|
|39||2002-03||Peter Birtwhistle||Tom Boles|
|40||2003-04||Martin Mobberley||Peter Birtwhistle|
|41||2004-05||Jeremy Shears||Mark Kidger|
|42||2005-06||Tom Boles||Mark Kidger|
|43||2006-07||Nick James||Peter Birtwhistle|
|44||2007-08||Dave Storey||Ron Arbour|
|45||2008-09||Ernesto Guido/Giovanni Sostero||Peter Birtwhistle|
|46||2009-10||Anthony Wesley||Graham Wolf|
|47||2010-11||Anthony Ayiomamitis||Gary Poyner|
|48||2011-12||Martin Mobberley||Montse Campas|
|49||2012-13||Cristian Fattinnanzi||Peter Meadows|
|50||2013-14||Paul Abel||Steve Fossey|
|51||2014-15||Nick James||Bill Ward|
|52||2015-16||Damian Peach||Ron Arbour|
|53||2016-17||Denis Buczynski||Alex Pratt|
|54||2017-18||Peter Birtwhistle||George Carey|
The cover award was named the ‘Alan Young’ award from 1991 while the overall award was named the ‘George Alcock’ award from 2001.
In the early years the award appeared under a number of different titles:
The first three awards were for the “Most Casual Astronomer”.
The 1968 and 1973 awards were for the “Astronomer of the Year”.
The 1969 award was titled “Most Prolific Observer”.
The 1971 award was titled “Most Consistent Contributor”.
Early winners were chosen by the Editor, switching in 1973 to the Editorial Committee and from 1977 onwards to a vote by members.
There were no annual awards in 1994 as they were replaced by a competition for the best display, based on content from the first 30 years, at the 30th anniversary meeting. The recipient was Richard Fleet.
Winners of the Exhibition award at the AGM are recorded for 1989 (Jack Ells) and 1996 (Margareta Westlund).
Brian Manning (8) has the most awards, followed by Rob McNaught (7), Peter Birtwhistle (6) and Martin Mobberley (5).
Originally published in The Astronomer Vol 54, No 648, pages 330-331 (2018).