After 5 years hard work following relocating my observatory to Little Eversden, in the southeast Cambridgeshire countryside, including planning, pegging out, establishing the meridian, excavating the foundations, making shuttering and pouring tons and tons of concrete, bricklaying, carpentry, wiring, painting and decorating, finally it was finished ~ phew! And so to Saturday the 4th. of August 2001 & the grand opening StarBeCue and red ribbon cutting ceremony performed later that afternoon, by Ron Irving, the man whose expertise had made the two decade project possible.

The morning showed great promise with crystal clear blue skies. Gradually during the late morning and midday, cirrus, cumulus & then stratus clouds moved down from the northwest. Nevertheless the opening ceremony was duly performed by Mr. Irving with due aplomb, in dry, if overcaste conditions, to be followed by a predicted downpour that lingered into the mid-evening. The festivities were concluded with a truly spectacular firework display consisting of 16oz signal maroons & Roman candle batteries.

Those present at the opening ceremony:

  Ronald Nicholas Irving - instrument maker   James David Greenwood - ATM  Mary Carter - human resources manager
  Sandra Woodriff - his niece   Juliet Greenwood - his wife David Macmillan - professional forensic photographer
  John Woodriff - his nephew  Bob Argyle - president Webb Society & double star observer  Pauline Macmillan - his wife
 Henry Wildey - telescope maker   Angela Argyle - his wife  Doug Daniels - ATM & director of Hampstead Observatory
  Dave Fletcher - deep sky columnist Popular Astronomy  Brian Evans - professional photographer Julia Daniels - his wife
  Tom Hosking - former editor of Popular Astronomy   Bonnie Evans - graphics designer Anthony Marshall - software author for Camboard Technologies
  Peter Grego - editor of Popular Astronomy   Ez Reid - professional optical design engineer Brian Marshall - his father
  Paul Stephens - ATM   Jim Hysom - Hytel Optics director - mirror maker Jill Marshall - his mother
  Joan Jones - my mother-in-law   Jean Hysom - his wife Chris Lord - yours truly
  Roderick Willstrop - chief librarian Cambridge Institute of Astronomy Library  Bob Carter - sci/fi and historical novellist   Corrine Lord - Head of Wardrobe-Royal Opera House - my wife

And all that remains now is to jolly well get down to some hard earned observing, but of course there are always more projects on the boil such as my 7-inch f/4 RFT, a f/12.8-f/40 Nasmyth-Cassegrain interchangeable optic set for the Calver, and a stepper motor drive system, currently being built by AWR Technologies. More on which later.

Chris Lord 4th. January 2002