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Wanted. Good home for a telescope

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 December 2007 16:41
Published on Thursday, 06 December 2007 00:00
The RAS has been bequeathed a 10.5 inch reflecting telescope - are you interested in putting it to good use? 
The RAS has been bequeathed a telescope by the late Mr Eric Northrop of Cheam, who made the telescope with his brother Eric. The telescope is a 10.5 inch reflecting telescope (f/8-10?).  It sits in its observatory dome in the back garden. 

The telescope is on a massive, rugged English cross-axis mount.  Its optics are good.  The telescope is electrically driven through a gear box by a worm and gear wheel drive.  There are finding telescopes  but no setting circles.  The open-work tie-frame tube is nicely made.  The telescope was finished about 1978 by the two men and has not been used for a decade, but is dry, moves freely and is well preserved.  The brothers were technical staff in the Science Museum and the V&A respectively and their workmanship is good.  It is however not a modern telescope.

It is thought that the telescope could be disassembled  into half a dozen  main pieces and carried (or wheeled) through a garage to the street.  It would need a day's work by people who can  handle large metal pieces and a suitable vehicle ( eg large van).  It would need to be re-erected on a solid foundation and covered by a building or dome.

The existing 15 ft dome is more than a hemisphere on a rotating frame with an up and over shutter.  It is made of segments of galvanized steel sheet, pop-riveted together.  It is in working order but needs maintenance.  It would be difficult to cut it up and remove it from the site; reassembling it would be even more problematic.