The Nautical Almanac & Its Superintendents

Highlights 1970 - 2016 ...


The following are some of the major highlight following the first 200 years.

1970: G.A. Wilkins, Superintendent 1970 - 1989

George A. Wilkins
George A. Wilkins


1981: The Astronomical Almanac

The British and American Astronomical Ephemerides were completely redesigned. Both offices share the work, but there is a single printing by the US Government Printing Office. In the UK, HM Stationery Office or TSO as the privatised part became, remained the publisher until 2006.

1989: B.D. Yallop, Superintendent 1989 - 1996

On the retirement of George Wilkins, Bernard Yallop was appointed Superintendent, however, he was already the head of the group producing the almanacs within HMNAO since 1973. By 1989, however, HMNAO had shrunk to just those producing the almanacs and answering the queries from the public on times of sunrise and sunset and the like.

The title of Superintendent ceased on Bernard Yallops's retirement.

1990: Relocation to Cambridge

RGO Cambridge Building
Royal Greenwich Observatory, Cambridge


The Royal Greenwich Observatory was relocated to Cambridge, to a new building behind Cambridge University's Institute of Astronomy, to a "super-centre" for astronomy.

1996: A.T. Sinclair, Head 1996-1998

On the retirement of Bernard Yallop, Andrew Sinclair, the head of the RGO's very successful Satellite Ranger Team (SLR) at Herstmonceux, was appointed head of HMNAO as well as the SLR.

1998: The Closure of the RGO

In 1998, the RGO was closed. However, the NA was still required so HMNAO and the three remaining personell moved to Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot, Oxfordshire, run by a sister organization to PPARC (the successor title of SRC and SERC) the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC).

2006: HMNAO at the UK Hydrographic Office

HMNAO was not profitable enough to fund its own succession planning in order to cater with the passing of time and the three remaining long-serving staff. Thus the MOD conducted a study, which reported that the Office should continue. The most efficient solution was to re-locate HMNAO to the UKHO, who already had a print operation as well as a supply chain to shipping around the world that need The Nautical Almanac.

On April 1, 2006 HMNAO moved from Oxford to Taunton in Somerset to be run by the UK Hydrographic Office; back to the Admiralty.

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