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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Fwd: Observatory

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Perring <>
Date: 17 April 2012 09:56
Subject: Observatory
To: Colin Watling <>

Very sad but its the Circumstances and it looks like the Observatory has become a victim of one or Several.......

Hello Colin,
I am not sure how up to date you are on affairs at the observatory as you have not been to recent meetings, but the long and short of it is that we no longer have the observatory. The steel shutter had been shedding it's rollers for some time and was jamming so we had obtained quotations from local firms to take the shutter off and refit rollers.
Meantime, kirkley high School has now become "The Eastpoint Academy"  and has a new management team in control. They called us in and said that they were pleased to have us associated with the school, saw the observatory as a great teaching asset and wanted the school involved with us as mentors. Sounded great until we went to show them the observatory. More rollers had fallen off and the shutter was flapping up and down in the wind and was in danger of coming off. They had H & S E look at it and they said it need big overhaul, new wooden access door, rivets in dome replacing, new rollers, rewireing etc. Apart from us looking after the scope no maintenance work has really been done for 40 years. They also said the ladder was unsafe - we disagreed.
The main point was that if all the work was done it is still not dark until 10 pm because of the sports ground lights. If the school had an astronomy club run by us then would parents bring the kids back at 10 pm to use the telescope - no. For a school club it would have to be after school on the dark evenings for observing AND IN SCHOOL FOR GENERAL ASTRONOMY TEACHING, FILMS ETC. , not coming back several hours later.
They quoted that the amount could be £5000 and if LYRA could raise the money the school would let us continue to use it. The school had no money to contribute to the observatory. The site must remain closed until safe. So Richard, Len and I have removed all our property from the site. I have the new clock you put in and will drop it in to you soon. The school may now demolish it all.
The danger also was that without a legal lease on the observatory we could have raised £5000 and had the work done and a year later the scholl could decide to knock it down to build a new facility, classroom etc|: so our relationship was pretty loose.
A sad end but no choice under the circumstances.
John P

Good Clear Skies
Colin James Watling
Various Voluntary work-Litter Picking for Parish Council (Daytime) and also a friend of Kessingland Beach (Watchman)
Lat' 52.41825356698225 North
- (Chimney Pot)
Long' 1.7198766767978668 East
Elev: 38ft/11.5824 Meters above sea level
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
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