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Lapwing Lane 25/10/2000

Colin H and I saw ISS and the Shuttle on Saturday night in Colin's back garden - ISS was brighter than we expected and the shuttle was further behind than we expected. We then went on to Lapwing Lane where we met Paul B. Paul and I set up our 'scopes 20 metres or so beyond the gate while Colin observed naked eye and binocular variables. We were all impressed by the seeing, the Milky way was clearly visible. Paul and Colin could see NGC 752 naked eye and Colin could see variables naked eye to mag 5.7 - 5.8. We all thought it was definitely worth further visits.

Subsequently I have contacted SIBELCO the nearby quarry operators who are responsible for the site. The estates manager, based at Sandbach, was sympathetic but raised two hurdles. Firstly, the site comes under the regulations of the 'quarries and mines' act. We could probably resolve this with appropriate paperwork absolving them of any liability if we hurt ourselves etc. (Any comments Roger?) Secondly, they are only tenants and would need to get permission from the landlord . We were also warned that there have been problems with poachers who can turn aggressive!

Two possible options come to mind. Firstly, do nothing but continue to occasionally use the site low key as individuals, rather than as an overtly ADAS "group". Alternatively, approach the quarry management's landlord directly. My preference is to wait a while and communicate again in a few months.

by Don Utton

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