Reply To: Rev T.E.Espin’s Calver telescope :action needed

Home Forums Telescopes Rev T.E.Espin’s Calver telescope :action needed Reply To: Rev T.E.Espin’s Calver telescope :action needed

Denis Buczynski

Hi Trevor,

Thanks for your interest. I can see why you are as interested in knowing the current situation regarding the telescope. I have written to member of the Astronomy group at Newcastle University, Dr Anne Archbold, to see if she can shed any light on the matter. Here is a copy of my letter:

Hello Dr Archibold,
I hope you can help with this enquiry. I am an amateur astronomer and a member of the British Astronomical Association since 1979. At present I live 40 miles north of Inverness. I have had a particular interest in the telescopes that were used by pioneers of observational astronomy in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. The reason I write to you is to ask if you can shed any light on the current situation regarding the telescope used by The Rev.T.E .Espin (a founder member of the BAA and a recipient of the Jackson-Gwilt medal of the Royal Astronomical Society). He lived and worked at Tow Law in County Durham.This telescope has historical significance and was donated to Newcastle University in the 1990’s by David Sinden (who was chief optician at Grubb-Parsons and worked on the construction of the Issac Newton telescope and the Anglo Australian telescope). It was situated at the University Observatory site at Closehouse Estate west of Newcastle along side two other more modern telescopes that were owned and operated by Newcatle University. The University sold off the site and removed the two modern telescopes (still in storage at the University?).However I believe the 19th century Espin 24 inch Calver reflector was left in situ and may still be there, abandoned. Can you shed any light on the current situation regarding this telescope. I realise that this may be outside you sphere of interest and certainly the move away form Closehouse was before you time at Newcastle University, but I hope the subject and its historical aspect may interest you enough to make some enquiries about the telescope. I attach two links
1) a utube video made in 2021 showing the abandoned observatory
2) a link to the Society for the History of Astronomy webpage for this telescope whcih gives the historical background.
I hope you can find time to look at these and respond
Best wishes
Denis Buczynski