I was really sorry to hear of the passing of Sir Patrick Moore today. I had some contact with him in my youth and he was a really generous and humorous chap...
...I used to have an odd thing for ferrets in my teens (...bear with me on this!) and, when a friend of mine at school who was into astronomy told me he had Patrick Moore's home address, I decided to write him a strange letter asking him if it were true that "the earth was actually held in orbit around the sun by a long line of hand-holding asbestos ferrets" (...I kid you not!). To my amazement and great delight he sent back a signed photo saying "Yes, your theory is stoatily proven". What a cool guy! I wrote a couple of more sensible letters after that and had two further replies back (I have kept them all) typed, personally and very badly, on his trusty typewriter [see photo]. I met him briefly too. I spotted him walking towards BBC Broadcasting House and, wanting to boast that I'd met him but not knowing what to say, I bounded up and asked, "Excuse me Mr Moore, do you know where BBC Broadcasting House is?" He looked at me and replied patiently, "It's right there, behind you". A genuinely kind man and an excellent scientist too, of course. RIP, sir.
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