A Recap of HGMC April 2024 – Observatory Visit

What is Hector’s Gentle-Man’s Club? 

Hector’s Gentle-Man’s Club (HGMC) is a safe space for men in the area to come together once a month to try new activities, meet new people and have a safe space to be themselves. 

Each month we will be offering people the opportunity to try a new activity or learn something new. Then we will take some time to check in on the group, offering everyone a chance to talk freely and openly about whatever is on their mind.  For April 2024, we visited the South West Herts Astronomical Society Observatory.  

About the evening?

Tucked away somewhere between the middle of nowhere and the back of beyond, we had to call Sean (our presenter and guide to the universe for the evening) in order to make sure we were actually in the right place. A few directions later, and we were welcomed into a charming little shack that we later found out is an ex-RAF Building on a small slip of land, gifted to them by a local farmer.

Seating was set up, and on each chair a neat bundle of pamphlets with information on the moon, stars and everything in between was compiled for each attendee. Once everybody was on site, we sat down with a hot drink and settled into Sean’s fantastic presentation. Starting with the humble origin story of the Society itself, through all manner of mind-blowing statistics about our universe, and staggering images of our solar system captured by their members.  

The presentation was thoroughly entertaining throughout and delivered with a warm and personable style. Questions were well received from our group, and the occasional interruptions from a founding SWHAS member at the back of the room were an entertaining addition. Sadly, the weather was unsuitable for any observing. We were taken into the observatory none the less and shown the primary telescope.

After a brief explanation of how it works, and how the gear has evolved over the years it was time to wrap it up for the evening. As always, a ‘check-out’ where we take a moment to see how everybody is doing is the very last part of the evening.

The Hector’s House team would like to express an enormous thank you Sean, and the rest of the team at SWHAS for all their hard work, and for making us feel so welcome. We are planning a return visit later in the year, once the evenings are dark again, and keeping our fingers crossed for clear skies next time.  

Speak up 

All discussion at HGMC is completely confidential and listened to without judgement. If you are interested in attending a future HGMC event please keep an eye on our social media channels or fill out the sign up form. We’d like to extend another special thank you to SWHAS, and in particular to Sean. We are touched by your generosity, and grateful for your time and knowledge.

If you are affected by anything discussed and want to pursue the topic further please feel free to contact us at hihector@hectorshouse.org.uk. If you need help for yourself, or somebody else never hesitate to reach out. Below are a few links that you may find helpful.

Take care of yourself, and maybe we’ll see you at the next one? 

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