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History

The name ‘Blackburn Leisure’ is associated with British Aerospace [BAE Systems] formerly Blackburn Aircraft, the factory is sited towards the river in Brough. Within the leisure club, various sections were created of different interests by the members which were mainly the factory staff.

The roots to the society go back several years to the 1980's where a few interested people gathered together and took their own telescope for an evening of viewing - generally they meet at the top of the hill in Sancton.

From there a society was set up at Blackburn Leisure Welfare Society which was part of Hawker Siddley which is now known as British Aerospace [BAe], the welfare club was used as a meeting site and the popular viewing site was at still at Sancton near Market Weighton which had dark sky's

The Astronomy section ran with a steady few members using their own equipment .
During the summer of 2000, the club was kindly donated a 12” telescope, and at that point it was decided that a permanent observing site was needed.

Blackburn leisure was approached to see if we could use the old model steam railway building sited at the bottom of the playing fields, they granted us permission to use it and allow it to modified to accommodate a dome.

A model was built and presented to the members and club committee to demonstrate our ideas
Construction for a 10ft dome began the following summer of 2001, the foundations where laid in Nov 2001, the circular wall built to support the observatory with a 10 foot wide frame was installed with completion in Aug 2002 and we were up and running with our 12” telescope

It was soon realised that the equipment needed to be upgraded to allow more flexible and rewarding viewing for club members and general public alike. 

A grant application was submitted in 2005 to the Lottery ‘Awards for all’ regional branch, with a successful award in May. This allowed a large computerised telescope and accessories to be purchased. So we purchase a 14" mead - self aligning go to telescope and after some modifications to the pillar support we were soon up and running taking pictures of the deep sky objects.

Computer equipment within the main building is used to control the telescope with cameras to provide live images directly from the telescope in the comfort of the building.

Soon local groups where being invited, such as the Hessle Cub scout pack in January 2004. Along with the Brough Cub scout pack in Mar 2004. The locals were invited to join in the latest event -- the transit of the Venus on 8th June 2004.
We have also had visits from nearby schools, such as Driffield Secondary during the 2005 partial solar eclipse. For more details on our visitors they have been listed in “our past events” tab

Another grant application was submitted in 2010 to "Grass Roots" this also was successful mid year. This allowed us to be able to observe the sun by granting us to purchase an excellent hydrogen alpha filter and a suitable small 4” refractor telescope along with a sensitive camera with suitable solar filters to enable us to look at the sun with it's prominence's and sun spots.

Since then the team at Brough have achieved some very good images. - see the photo gallery.