SDAC Solar Image


Aurora Borealis

About Me

My name is Andy Devey, I was born in 1956 in a West Yorkshire Mining village as the first son of the late Ron Devey [a mining surveyor] and my late mother Mary Devey [a seamstress]. I was educated at Hemsworth Grammar/High School followed by Doncaster College of Technology via the NCB. I attained a Mining Surveyors certificate in 1978. I initially worked in the UK Coal Industry in 1974 through a Mining Surveying Apprenticeship and as a Mining Surveyor until 1980. I completed my education to Chartered Mining Engineer status in 1985. I moved into Colliery Management in 1985 and I was a Colliery General Manager from 1993 to 1997.


I Joined the Insurance Industry in 1998; initially I was recruited as a Mining Expert and subsequently trained as a Special Risks Surveyor and as a Liability Claims Specialist in my final role. I have also acquired many personal and technical skills through my numerous hobbies [obsessions] which have run parallel to my working career.

I have consistently been a fanatical weight trainer since 1968, I was the Indoor League heavyweight silver medalist in 1977, UK all comers Arm Wrestling Champion in 1978/9. I was a competitive natural bodybuilder from 1977 to 1981. Through this, I developed discipline, goal setting and the determination to succeed in everything that I commit to!

I enjoy model making and model engineering. I won International Gold Medal and the Excide and Drydex cup [for the best battery-powered model of the whole show] at the 1992 International Model Engineering exhibition with a 1:12 scale all-steel model tank. I later bought and restored a WW2 Russian T34 Tank in 1993. These skills help with my continuing astronomical projects.


Here is a photo of my award-winning 1:12 scale model tank it was also a licensed firearm between 1985 and its deactivation in October 2011.


Here is a photo of my T34 tank

I am also an author/military historian and an artist. I was first published in 1999 on the Jagdtiger tank destroyer [this two-volume tome is the definitive work on this subject [published by Schiffer Military History – Atglen PA, USA]. Incidentally, this was the same year that I was clouded out at the UK Total Solar Eclipse at a Cornwall location!

I wrote and self-published Target Focused Weight Training in 2002, followed by Target Focused Lifestyles Improvements in 2004. These books mainly cover the mental focus to achieve your personal goals.

I have enjoyed a lifelong passion for Astronomy. I visited my late cousin Tina Devey, an Astro Physicist at Keele University in 2002. This visit included a trip, hosted by Professor Tim Nailor around the campus observatory. I was introduced to a hydrogen-alpha view of the Sun, and after that, I was well and truly hooked! Sadly, Tina died in June 2004, I often think of her and she remains my inspiration for more serious astronomical pursuits.

I started buying telescopes in 2004 just prior to the transit of Venus in June. I started to specialise in Solar Astronomy after the purchase of a Coronado PST in January 2005. I have since made daily records of solar activity -clouds permitting.

I became a member of the Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society and also the British Astronomical Association in 2005. My equipment inventory keeps accumulating!

In November 2009, my article was published in Astronomy Now magazine. Since March 2010, I have had solar photos featured by NASA on their site and also in the BAA Journal. More recently one of my solar photographs featured on the front cover of the British Astronomical Association Year Book for 2011.

In August 2011 I retired from the Insurance Industry on my 55th birthday. The plan was to find a suitable place in a more southern climate to set up an observatory. We initially stayed in rented accommodation in the small village of El Fonte near Sorbas and fully integrated into the local Spanish community. I wrote about 30 articles for various online astronomy magazines between 2012 and 2015.

We bought our new home in October near Bedar in 2013. I and my friend Robin built the first observatory in February 2014.

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This is me and my little pal Alfie - the smile says it all.

I started my Spanish outreach activities with a first published article in Spanish in September 2013 and in October gave a talk to the towns folk of Uleila Del Campo [in Spanish] and then gave two classes on Astronomy at the Instituto de Sorbas [secondary school] in February 2014. I had my first refereed article published in the BAA journal in February 2015.

I am happily married to Judy, we enjoy our life together in Spain and have three grown-up children and two grandchildren, Oliver Thomas born March 2014 and Lacey Joy born March 2015.

Andy Devey - April 2011 [revised October 2017].

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Andy at 60 years of age [below] photos in Gold Gym Vera

The physique is not as sharp as it used to be but I am stronger than when I was younger and can still show the abs at a body weight of 125 kg! if you would like a copy of my books please send me an email via the contact section! Here is a short video of me on 6 April 2017 pulling 150 kg [almost 24 stones] with one hand on the low rowing exercise.

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