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Our History

Where it all began

Scroll down and take a look at where and when Salford Astronomical Society was formed and when the observatory was built.

Click on the images to enlarge them

Local astronomy enthusiast, Arthur Taylor, identifies other like-minded people within Salford and establishes a group with a common interest in astronomy and related topics



Subsequent to discussions and agreement with Salford Council (dept of education) the group is permitted to hold astronomical classes at Chaseley Field centre.

The success of these classes leads to the formation of the Salford Astronomical Society and its inaugural meeting at 19.30 on 6th September 1967 in Buile Hill Park science museum (Mr. C H Wheddon – Chairman, Mr. A E Clarke Mayor of Salford – President).



Professor Zdenek Kopal (University of Manchester) discusses the potential availability of the Jodrell Bank 45cm (18”) telescope with Arthur Taylor and members of Salford Astronomical Society.

Salford Astronomical Society put in place plans to raise funds, identify a site and accommodate the telescope within a new and dedicated observatory in Salford.

The telescope is decommissioned at Jodrell Bank and transported, erected and commissioned at Chaseley Field site.



The observatory is officially opened on the 26th October 1971 by Sir Patrick Moore CBE HonFRS FRAS.

A number of telescopes are donated to the society including a 8″ 5000mm Coude (folded) refractor, made out of a submarine periscope, and a 14″ Darkstar dobsonian reflector both from Dr Alec Jenner.

For more information on Dr Alec Jenner click here.



Major renovation takes place which features a brand new sign that includes the new logo design, painting of the outside and cleaning of the dome.

Also as part of the renovation, the installation of new tech including a projector and 7 foot screen to play live launches and other events from around the world. 


Scope renovation

cleaning the mirror and painting the frame

Over the years the 18″ telescope has needed some care and attention. Here are some of those times through the ages where the scope was dismantled, cleaned and painted.

Removing the mirrors

cleaning the frame

painting the frame

Maintaining the Dome