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The Dick Chambers Sutton-at-Hone Observatory

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Built in 2014 - Opened 8th January 2015.
Housing a 16" scientific grade telescope.
Available to members trained in its use.
Schools and clubs are welcome to visit the observatory by arrangement - Please click here for details.

Drawings

Drawings of the new Dick Chambers Sutton-at-Hone Observatory by Martin Crow.
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Donations

Donations to the building of the Dick Chambers Sutton-at-Hone Observatory.

1. Thank you to Dr. Peter Hindle for the kind and generous donation of a 16" Meade LX200 telescope, pier, accessories and dome!!!! Click here to see photos of the 16" being dismantled.

2. Thank you to Kent County Council
Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society would like to say a huge Thank you to Kent County Council (supported by Dartford Council and the Sutton-at-Hone Parish Council) & in particular Councillor Kite, for the grant the Society received towards the building of the new 'Dick Chambers Sutton-at-Hone Observatory'. Councillor Kite was very instrumental in ensuring the Society was successful in winning the funding for the new Observatory and has taken a keen interest in the Society, since our move to our new home at The Parsonage Lane Pavilion, Sutton-at-Hone in May 2012. The Observatory building work is progressing well towards completion and ready to have the 16" Meade Schmidt Cassegrain telescope donated by Professor Peter Hindle installed.

3. Thank you to Clive & Daniel Bishop
CMHASD would like to say a very big Thank you to Clive & Daniel Bishop for all their hard work building the observatory, materials & time they donated to the observatory build.
Bishop Building Projects (www.bishopbuildingprojects.co.uk) and Daniel C Bishop Building Ltd (danielcbishopbuilding.co.uk/)

4. Thank you Brown & Carroll (London) Ltd
CMHASD would like to say a very big Thank you to Brown & Carroll (London) Ltd in Basildon, for their generous donation of the plywood curved components that will be used for the upstand, that our new observatory dome will sit on.

5. Thank you to Steve Price
CMHASD would like to say a very big Thank you to Steve Price for all his hard work, materials & time donated to the observatory build.

6. Thank you to Colin Wheeler
CMHASD would like to say a very big Thank you to Colin Wheeler for making the new observatory steel door and for Colin's time & materials he has donated to fitting the new door to the observatory.

7. Thank you to Priorclave
CMHASD would like to thank Tony Collins MD of Priorclave for modifying our pier to fit in its new home.

8. Thank you to Stuart Vick
CMHASD would like to say a very big Thank you to Stuart Vick and his colleagues for the safe and efficient installation of the observatory electrics. Stuart ensured that the main feed to the observatory was safely isolated, and that our somewhat unusual requirements for things like bulkhead lighting, safety "Stop" buttons and floor boxes, were executed faultlessly. We appreciate the support of SV Electrical in passing through parts at cost, and for your expertise and recommendations during the project. (stuart@svelectrical.co.uk 07970710988)

Photo diary

Diary showing the construction of the observatory.

It all started back on the 4th May 2013 with the dismantling of Dr. Peter Hindle's 16'' Meade Schmidt Cassegrain telescope and observatory dome which he had very generously given to the society. Please click here to see photos taken of that day.
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The 16" Meade Schmidt Cassegrain telescope being lifted out of Prof. Peter Hindle's Observatory by members.


Then on the 22nd July 2014, the diggers came in and the start of building the CMHASD second & brand new observatory called the 'Dick Chambers Sutton-at-Hone Observatory' by Clive Bishop and Daniel Bishop of Bishop Building Projects (www.bishopbuildingprojects.co.uk) and Daniel C Bishop Building Ltd (danielcbishopbuilding.co.uk/)
began........

Tuesday 22nd July

A hole has appeared!
Hole filled in!
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Wednesday 23rd July

Bricks & blocks arrived....

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Thursday 24th July

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Friday 25th July

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Monday 28th July

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Tuesday 29th July

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Wednesday 30th July

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Thursday 31 July

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Friday 1st August

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* Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd August - The Build Weekend


Building the roof of the Observatory.


Please click on the images below - to see the rest of the 100+ photos taken of the 'Build Weekend' when CMHASD members came together to build the roof for the Dick Chambers Sutton-at-Hone Observatory.

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Thursday 8th August

Has extraterrestrial life paid a visit to the observatory? - click here to see the ultimate selfie they left behind....



* Saturday 9th August - Felting the Roof


The felting of the new observatory roof.

Please click on the images below to see more photos of the day CMHASD members helped Steve Price felt the new Observatory roof.

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* Thursday 21st August - The Steel Door


The 'arrival' of the steel door for the observatory.

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* Saturday 23rd August - Attaching the Steel Door


The fixing of the steel door to the observatory walls.

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* Sunday 24th August - The Dome Base


The fitting of the dome base on to the observatory.


Please click on the images below - to see the rest of the photos taken of the day when CMHASD members put the base of the dome on to the roof of the new observatory.

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* Saturday 6th September - The Dome


The fitting of the dome on top of the new observatory.


Please click on the images below (with one showing - a very tired member & trustee John Archer) to see more photos of the day - the dome was successfully assembled & put on top of the new observatory by CMHASD members.....

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* Thursday 11th September - The new door


The new door connecting the observatory to the pavilion & member Andy Godden who has done all the plumbing work for the observatory. Thank you Andy!

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New door!

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Looking from the Pavilion into the Observatory

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Looking from the Observatory into the Pavilion
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Thank you Andy!


* Monday 10th & Tuesday 11th November - Observatory Interior


Work started on the interior of the new Dick Chambers Sutton-at-Hone Observatory. Click here to see the brilliant work CMHASD members Steve Floodgate, Andy Barber, Bob Byrne & David Grist did over those two days......

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* Wednesday 19th November - Work continues on the interior of the observatory


On Wednesday 19th November - members Steve Floodgate & Andy Barber were back working on the floor & stairs of the observatory as well as the wall of the control room. They were also joined by a third member Steve Goldstone who spent the day painting the woodwork. Below are a few photos showing the super work the guys did.

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One window & painted frame.
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One complete Observatory floor with a trap door somewhere?
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Stairs, nicely painted skirting board & one trap door!
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One trap door - Open!


* Thursday 20th November - The electrical work is started!


Work has started on the electrics.....

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A very happy Steve!
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Bob testing the stairs he help to build.
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What is this?
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Power for the telescope!!!!!


* Monday 15th December - Pier modification & work on the interior continues...


On Monday 15th December - members Steve Floodgate & Andy Barber were back at the Pavilion to continue their work on finishing the interior of the new observatory. Whilst Steve & Andy were busy working on the observatory, Priorclave were beginning to work on the modifications of pier.

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Finshed stairs :-)
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Who built this?
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Do you know what it is for?
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It is Andy's ingenious piece of equipment that will be used to mark the Solar alignment for the 16" telescope when its fitted :-)
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Trustee Keith Rickard rolling the pier out of the pavilion - to be taken away for modification
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Pier being modified at Priorclave
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Note the hole drilled so we can fill with dry sand later
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Some of the custom parts that will be welded to the pier to aide positioning
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The adjustment mechanism to fine tune the position of the pier


* Monday 29th December - Installation of the modified pier and the 16'' telescope!!!!!!


On Monday 29th December, CMHASD members Keith Rickard, Martin Crow, Andy Barber, Steve Goldson, Steve Farley and David Freed spent the day at the new observatory installing the pier and 16'' telescope. They had a very successful day. The telescope is operational - ready and waiting for the opening ceremony on the 8th January 2015. Well done guys!!!!!

Click here to see how the day unfolded.....

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The Boys :-)

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It is all systems go!!!!!

* Thursday 8th January 2015 - The Opening Ceremony


On Thursday 8th January 2015, Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society Dartford officially opened it's new Observatory called the 'Dick Chambers Sutton-at-Hone Observatory' housing the Peter Hindle Telescope. Many people attended the event including Dr. Peter Hindle - who donated the 16" Meade telescope & the Mayor of Dartford - Cllr. Avtar Sandhu MBE.


Click here to see more photos taken of that great night.

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The Dick Chambers Sutton-at-Hone Observatory housing the Peter Hindle Telescope with ribbon....

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Cutting the ribbon - from left to right - CMHASD Chairman Simon Dawes, The Mayor of Dartford Avtar Sandhu MBE & Dr. Peter Hindle who is cutting the ribbon to officially open the observatory.

* Thursday 18th June 2015


Work continued with the building of the observatory. The stairs were finished by Steve Floodgate and Martin Crow started to build the desk and shelving for the observatory work room.

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Steve doing the final touches on the stairs.
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Martin building the desk with the help of Terry Miles.
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The observatory work room.
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* Saturday 20th June 2015 - Dome Motorisation. (Improving our observatory dome so it rotates automatically)


Several members of CMHASD came together to help Andy Barber and Keith Rickard with their dome motorisation project - click here to view details of the project.

Whilst at the pavilion members also took the opportunity to do a bit of a 'spring clean' of the pavilion and put up the signs for the anti climb paint.

Click here to see more photos of the day...

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Remind you of anything?
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Exterminate.....exterminate!
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* Monday 26th October 2015 - Dome Motorisation.


Keith Rickard & Andy Barber continued with their dome motorisation project with the help of David Freed and Diane Clarke. Click here to view details of the project. They spent the day putting the metal rails on the dome base as well as other jobs that were required for the project to progress. Below are a few photos of the day.

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CMHASD - Observatory