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Married couple who met at Hampstead Observatory recognised as star volunteers after 104 years

PUBLISHED: 14:00 18 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:33 18 July 2013

Doug and Julia Daniels were honoured at the Hampstead Observatory for their sterling efforts as volunteers for a combined 104 years. They were handed an award by Sky at Night presenter Dr Paul Abel (back left) and impressionist and amateur astronomer Jon Culshaw (back middle). Picture: Polly Hancock

Doug and Julia Daniels were honoured at the Hampstead Observatory for their sterling efforts as volunteers for a combined 104 years. They were handed an award by Sky at Night presenter Dr Paul Abel (back left) and impressionist and amateur astronomer Jon Culshaw (back middle). Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Two committed stargazers who have volunteered at Hampstead Observatory for a combined 104 years have been recognised for their efforts.

Husband and wife Doug and Julia Daniels – who first met at the observatory in the 1960s – were handed Sky at Night Magazine’s Award for Achievement in Amateur Astronomy by comedian Jon Culshaw on Sunday.

Mr Daniels, 73, said they were “flabbergasted” after being surprised with the award at the observatory’s annual summer picnic. “I had no wind of it whatsoever. And with the heat of the day, it was really quite overwhelming!”

The couple are members of Hampstead Scientific Society. Mr Daniels serves as secretary, while his wife, 76, is treasurer. But the pair have no plans to quit working at the observatory. Mr Daniels joked: “There’s a tradition in Hampstead that society presidents tend to work until they drop.”

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