During the period 1981-83 I was very lucky to be offered
a key to the wonderful school observatory on top of the Victorian Science Block. The telescope was, I
think, a 4 inch refractor with beautiful brass screw eyepieces.
It was a real privilege to observe here. I can still remember
the intense blue of the Pleiades at around 40x, an experience made
surreal by the red lightbulbs and the sound of water in
the roof tanks under the observing table. I also
used the roof platform around the dome for binocular observing, an
interest I still pursue.
Hardly anyone else
used the observatory, so for my last 2 years at school it was
virtually a personal apartment for me, a place where I could be at peace, enjoy reading, photography and astronomy. This
experience has provided an emotional legacy that has
travelled with me since, and certainly forms the basis of my night
landscape photography and the resulting Nightfolio.
It also gave me a less serious interest dabbling in pure astronomical photography from time to time (example).
things change eventually, and I understand the old
telescope has been replaced by a large computer driven
reflector. I am sure they have also fixed the
dodgy railings outside the dome!