HISTORY OF THE OBSERVATORY

 

Part 2 - The 1990s

 

As far as we are able to ascertain, the observatory remained largely unused until the
mid-1990s and by this time, the telescope was in a very poor state of repair. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Head of the Charterhouse Centre was John Baker.  Around 1997, he was
approached by the well-known local conservation officer Chris Sperring MBE.  Chris was
keen to begin running astronomy courses at Charterhouse, but the primary mirror in the
telescope was too far gone to be of any use.
 
Chris agreed to undertake a restoration of the main telescope in his own time.  So that
astronomy courses could begin to run, John Baker secured funding from the Environment
 and Property Department at County Hall to purchase an 11 inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain
telescope on a portable Losmandy equatorial mount.
 
A press release from Charterhouse sometime late 1997 reveals just how close the original
Fullerscope came to being scrapped - scary !
 
 
 
 
Chris Sperring duly started the long task of restoring the telescope to its former glory.
 
 
 
 
November 1997 also saw the first "Astronomy For Beginners" course running over
a four week period, with Chris Sperring at the helm.
 
 
 
 
The course proved to be extremely popular and the series was repeated several times
over the following year:
 
  January 1998 16 People  
  October 1998 Unknown  
  November 1998 27 People  
  January 1999 Unknown  
  February 1999 25 People  
 
 
The telescope's mirrors were sent to Galvoptics in Basildon for re-finishing in July 1999
at a total cost of 109 and no astronomy courses were run that autumn while Chris
focussed on getting the telescope reassembled.
 
 
 
The restored telescope circa late 1999
(photographed with unknown member of Charterhouse staff)

 

Part 1 -  Early Days
   
Part 2 -  The 1990s
   
Part 3 -  The Millennium Dome
   
Part 4 -  Full Circle

 

 

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