Just as we thought we had completed all the restoration work on the Charterhouse Telescope, and had started booking in groups to raise funds, we hit a snag....
This is the mechanism which opens and closes the observatory roof. The steel cable which runs over the back of the dome to open the door snapped after a user failed to observe the "opening & closing instructions" just above said winch.
The dome door was closed at the time, which means that we cannot open it. It also means that the extremely heavy dome door dropped forward, leaving a rather large gap, right above where the telescope mount sits.
We managed to prop the door back up, just enough to close the gap in the roof, but on further investigation, it was decided that it was not viable to repair the current system. The pair of winches that operate the opening and closing are old and starting to wear out, so even though this is a frustrating set back it has given us the opportunity to do two things;
After a lot of work, Dudley had his official "Grand Re-opening" on the 12th December which was attended by members of the WMA, the public who had helped fund the repairs and members of the team who helped make it all happen.
Unfortunately (as is mostly the case in England) the cloud prevented us from actually observing with the telescope, but the hard work that had been done to get to where we were was really appreciated by those in attendance. There was a lot of very kind feedback from the visitors, and the restoration means that Dudley should be in service for another 50 years!