Dec 10 2012 By Hannah Bewley
THE nation's greatest astronomer who was born in Pinner has died.
Sir Patrick Moore died peacefully on Sunday December 9 at his home in West Sussex.
The much-loved star gazer and enthusiastic presenter was born on March 4 1923 in Pinner, and lived in the village for six months before moving to Bognor Regis.
Sir Patrick, who was knighted in 2001, was born to Captain Charles Trachsel Caldwell-Moore MC and Gertrude, who died 1981 and remained extremely close to her son throughout her life.
Although he didn't live in Pinner for very long he came back to the area in the 1980s to give a talk and stayed as a dinner guest in Ruislip.
Millions of professionals and amateurs have been inspired by his passion, generosity and knowledge and his friend, Queen guitarist Brian May, has set up a website where people can leave heartfelt tributes.
Robin Scagell, chairman of the West of London Astronomical Society, which meets in Harrow and Hillingdon, said: "You won't find a single person who has a bad word to say about Patrick.
When anyone said Patrick in the world of astronomy you knew who they meant, there was only one Patrick. I never spoke to him about his time in Pinner, but I got the impression that when you move at six months you don't really know much more about it."
The astronomer came to speak to the society and Mr Scagell said: "It was in the 1980s so he wasn't driving then, he got his taxi driver to drive him all the way from West Sussex and back again and would never mention money, he was too much of a gentleman for that. He was incredibly generous with his time, almost to a fault, he would rather the subject was on television and in books than him making money out of it. He was always very self effacing about his achievements."
Mr Moore has hosted the BBC programme The Sky at Night for more than 50 years and the first episode was shown on April 24 1957, which made it the longest running programme with the same presenter.
Photo: Mirrorpix http://www.mirrorpix.com