The Liverpool Astronomical Society Observatory Pex Hill, Cronton, Knowsley
The First Five Years 1994 ~ 1999
The Observatory project came about following the generous donation of a large telescope to the Society by the then Patron the late Mr J.R.Platt. The Society quickly began the tesk of raising money for the project and initiated a search for a suitable site. As a response to the project the Society instigated its series of Croxteth Hall & Park Public Star Party Weekends.
The return of Comet Halley in 1985-86 provided a golden opportunity both to promote astronomy and raise funds for the proposed observatory.
An appeal to the membership and other fund raising events soon boosted the observatory account.
Many problems and delays were encountered in finding a suitable site, until the present site was obtained. On hearing the news of the opening of the observatory, a suitable dome was ordered and thoughts once again turned to raising sufficient funds to operate the telescope in its first year. The Observatory at Pex Hill now houses a large 16inch Newtonian reflecting telescope, which was a gift to the Society by Mr A.Robertson of the Isle of Man.
The telescope had been in storage for some years and has undergone a partial restoration, including mirror recoating, with the help of what was Scope City, prior to its installation. An Appeal to the membership and a generous donation from The Ford of Britain Trust has ensured that the telescope will be extremely well equipped for visual work. The Society’s publications and the Newsletter have raised a considerable sum towards the cost of the dome and equipping the Observatory. For the next five years, restoration of the dome and improvements to the telescope mount are underway, and a recent upgrade to the observatory computer has been made, with the view to perhaps install a telescope robotic system at a later date
Soon however the plan is to replace the 16-inch as the main observatory telescope with a 10-inch or 12-inch Meade LX2000.Testing will be carried out with a CCD camera and a members Meade 8-inch telescope on the new pillar extension which was recently fitted to the observatory by members David Galvin and Steve Southern.
The opening of the observatory brings about new opportunities for the Society, but its aims remain the same as they were when the Liverpool Astronomical Society was formed in 1881:-
“To promote the science of Astronomy primarily in Liverpool and the area thereof.”
The Observatory is managed by Liverpool Astronomical Society in conjunction with Knowsley Countryside Ranger Service and North West Water PLC. The Observatory is for use by Society members only, however, should you wish to book any individual or group visits to the observatory then please contact:-
(Contact details removed as no longer valid)