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Telescope house those days have gone!..?


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Hi to you on the Astro lounge 

intially I had an fascination of the night sky and Astronomy when I was a young boy of around 12-13 now and my first scope was a tasco 50mm refractor yes still remember £49.99 in Allders department store and really was that long ago now as I remember trying to stick the scope outside a small window and hoping to find Halley’s Comet and in those days I was,nt aware of more specialist dealers were around and even exsisted.then as I discovered of buying Astronomy now in my local WH-smiths an certain logo came up of a rather classical looking large brass refractor and as curiosity killed the cat I was instantly bedazzled and woundering where is that scope then and as I read the advert below bottom of the page there came a rather prestigious looking sounding name which was broadhurst, clarkson and fuller better known to younger folk as telescope house and then nagged my father to take me up to EC1 Farringdon road on a Saturday morning those was the days of Dudley fuller who came across a bit like dell boy of the Astronomy world  a lovely guy knowledgeable yes old school and very helpful aslo peter gallon and Dave the three musketeers so to speak coming to the rescue to the amateur Astronomer from beginners to Advanced observers and in those days imaging was really not heard of and you could even try eyepieces out and accessories and try em out before you decided to purchase those was the days when dealers were not trying to rush you over the telephone to make a rushed transaction thay actually seemed to care and spent time with you and telescope house is most probably one of the oldest companies which originally started in 1786 or there abouts and that’s something to be proud of so bring on heritage and tradition I say.however it was,nt until the last few years or so now I recently got back into amateur Astronomy and purchased a second hand 150mak and I was still aware that telescope house still was trading and have had moved a couple of times and cannot help feeling since they moved from Farringdon road London thay lost that magic of me remembering as a young boy of the 6”brass refractor in the shop window.so the current telescope house is now in Kent I think and have emerged with bresser germany and now are the distributors for the brand also Exsplore scientific and as from what I can gather perhaps trying to take on to much more than thay can handle as Kerin Smith is a great guy and very helpful and what I can gather is pretty much trying to run the business pretty much on his own and perhaps a secretary or admin staff as nine times out of ten emails are never returned and even tho there is also a sales line still cannot get through for help and advice so personally cannot help feeling that telescope house should just concentrate on sales only or distribution as for what I’m seeing cannot clearly do it both

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For Supernova74 and anyone else wanting to reminisce the ‘good old days’ 🙂 https://www.bcftelescopes.co.uk/about-broadhurst-clarkson-and-fuller-ltd/broadhurstclarksonandfullerltd/  

Perhaps some of you remember Astronomical Equipment of Luton Known as A&E. Same period They  offered a fixed latitude Equatorial which had 1.5" diameter axles. My order took 3 months on that. I ev

I used to visit the Farringdon Road shop when I was on trips to London. It seemed like an "aladdins cave" back then and a chance to see and discuss mouthwatering equipment. I bought quite a few e

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Thanks so much for the memories!

I remember the 1965 catalogue very well!  I never did visit the premises, but my brother Chris did some years later to have the first mirror he made tested.  Dudley Fuller told him it was so good that they offered him a job, but Chris turned it down. Mind you, it might have been they were desperate (sorry, Chris!).

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I remember BCF. so well. Every London visit had to include the Trek down Farringdon Road to
browse around and dream one day I would buy one of those monster telescopes. never happened though,
I remember buying an illuminated guiding eyepiece once.   The thrill was just being in there drinking in
those wonderful instruments. 
Those days are gone now, I miss it a great deal.  I tried the Widescreen Centre just off Regent street, but
there was no magical feeling generated in there, sorry chaps, no hard feelings.
Flo. when is your showroom going to get born?😀.
Ron.
 

 

Edited by barkis
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I visited the shop at least three times, I was only young maybe 15 years old and all I did was wander round the maze of shelves gazing at the monster scopes saying that one day I will own a Fullerscope IV mount and a 6" F15 refractor. I'm part way there with the IV mount I recently bought 😄

 

 

 

Edited by Doc
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13 minutes ago, Supernova74 said:

If any one like to know that 6” brass refractor was sold to the Saudi royal family 

I seem to recall that it was an 8" Cooke refractor that Dudley sold to the Saudis?.  Apparently the "Tax Man" got wind of it and clobbered him for capital gains tax.

I used to frequent the many astronomical outlets in London during that period. on one visit to Telescope House they had a massive 4.5" Zeiss binocular telescope on a huge mount.  They dragged it outside on to the pavement so that I could have a look through it.  Quite impressive, but as they say, if you have to ask the price...……..

The memory stuck with me and I eventually built myself a 5" version.       🙂

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Yes thay sold a few to the more wealthy clients definitely made to last and on a different note I remember the Meade 7” APO that was a beast.also as I recall Pentax had a go of making a few refractors also however in this day an age mainly thay concentrate on more high end eyepieces.personally I think the closest now in the classical look long focal length refractor is most probably moonraker telescopes which was interested in working for however in my opinion moonraker is a tad over top regarding looks that’s just me tho there was a series on short while back re make of war of the worlds laughed tho when thay showed the scientist looking through it mars so close up and a little unrealistic to say the least that looked like a Cooke refractor!?

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I have always been a martyr to telescope envy. :rolleyes2:

Fullerscopes was offering virtual reality long before the <cough> "real thing" came along. :wacko:

They should have sold raffle ticket to "wishful thinkers." ;)

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Yup, I remember visting the Farringdon showroom many times, way back when.  A trip to London was never quite complete without a diversion to Telescope House.  My first scope was a 6" drainpipe-tubed Fullerscopes newt, on a solid wee Fullerscopes EQ mount, bought in the early 70s.  Fond memories indeed, particularly of Dudley's enthusiasm and detailed explanations.

In latter years, from their Kent locations, they did a fine job of de-forking an old Meade SCT I had, and even part-exing the mount parts against a new SW EQ mount.  Very helpful service, particularly from Kerin.  Good memories all round.

Cheers, Simon

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I used to visit the Farringdon Road shop when I was on trips to London. It seemed like an "aladdins cave" back then and a chance to see and discuss mouthwatering equipment.

I bought quite a few eyepieces from them - mostly dealing with Pete Gallon I seem to recall. Dud Fuller was usually around somewhere at the back of the shop. They would take my older eyepieces in part exchange, which helped cash flow a bit !

I eventually bought a Fullerscope MkII mount and had a number of interesting phone conversations with Dud coming up with more and more varied excuses why the mount was taking longer than estimated to make. It was a bit like the Monty Python "Cheeseshop" sketch at times !

It arrived in the end and formed a very sold mount for the 6 inch F/6 Astro Systems (Luton) newtonian that was my main scope back then.

Good memories :smiley:

astrosystems6.jpg.67407e07f95a04ba3062c84b05459197.jpg

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Ah yes a trip down memory lane. I bought an 8" Newtonian from Fullerscopes  on a very solid EQ which took eight weeks to deliver.  Eventually Dudley delivered it personally. I lived in  Leicester then. I think a lack of available parts caused the slow delivery. It was a question of We make it but you try to get it.

The perfect Gentleman..................................

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I was never lucky enough to deal with BCF, just Telescope House in Edenbridge.
My first astro purchase experiences were with Dark Star via mail order and phone calls in the early 1990's.
First ever Astro shop visit was Tring and then Widescreen Centres.
But most kit is from FLO and RVO to be honest all via the web, times had changed perhaps,
and now perhaps more than ever going forwards.
 

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After years of drooling over the Fullerscopes catalogue I eventually arrived at a point, maybe 1983/4, where I could order my dream scope, 6.25" Export Newtonian on a Mk3 mount. It took forever to arrive. A couple of dispatch dates came and went but it eventually arrived. I remember there being a problem with the eyepieces I'd ordered, one was missing. I phoned immediately and was assured it would be going in the post that evening.

The very next day it arrived! 

I still have Ye Olde Fullerscope but it's currently in isolation in another county. We'll meet again...

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1 hour ago, Alan White said:

I was never lucky enough to deal with BCF, just Telescope House in Edenbridge.
My first astro purchase experiences were with Dark Star via mail order and phone calls in the early 1990's.
First ever Astro shop visit was Tring and then Widescreen Centres.
But most kit is from FLO and RVO to be honest all via the web, times had changed perhaps,
and now perhaps more than ever going forwards.
 

Fullerscopes stir up much nostalgia for me,       I can get a bit emotional over specific times in my earlier years. I had many dreams, some materialised, some haven't as yet.😁

 

I would find it difficult to by pass First light for any future purchases. I've used them for most of my needs, and see no reason to change. Their service and communications are very good.   I'm not being a flag waver here, just voicing my own opinion, born of experience.

Ron.

Edited by barkis
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Perhaps some of you remember Astronomical Equipment of Luton Known as A&E. Same period They  offered a fixed latitude Equatorial which had 1.5" diameter axles. My order took 3 months on that. I eventually collected it myself in bits and spent the next fortnight assembling it myself. Worthwhile because the quality was there............Dave

AE MOUNT 1980.jpg

AE MOTORS.jpg

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I worked as a journalist in Hatton Garden during the 1990s - just up the road from the Farringdon shop. Used to go in regularly and eventually bought a Meade ETX105 from them - with a full set of Plossls costing just £99! There was a romance and sense of drama about the place. 

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39 minutes ago, DAVE AMENDALL said:

Perhaps some of you remember Astronomical Equipment of Luton Known as A&E. Same period They  offered a fixed latitude Equatorial which had 1.5" diameter axles. My order took 3 months on that. I eventually collected it myself in bits and spent the next fortnight assembling it myself. Worthwhile because the quality was there............Dave

AE MOUNT 1980.jpg

AE MOTORS.jpg

I can remember the A&E name, I didn't purchase any item from though.  I like the look of that build, it looks classy. I must have bought around  half a dozen of those stepper motor gearbox combo's during my own machinations. Only when I could work out what would produce the final sidereal rate though 😁.

Ron.

Edited by barkis
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39 minutes ago, DAVE AMENDALL said:

Perhaps some of you remember Astronomical Equipment of Luton Known as A&E. Same period They  offered a fixed latitude Equatorial which had 1.5" diameter axles. My order took 3 months on that. I eventually collected it myself in bits and spent the next fortnight assembling it myself. Worthwhile because the quality was there............Dave

AE MOUNT 1980.jpg

AE MOTORS.jpg

My brother and I had a secondhand  6" f/8 AE on an undriven German equatorial with a metal tripod, both in that same blue colour.  Both the optics and mount we're excellent.

Our scope had a closed tube, but most AE Newtonians were an early truss design.

That would have been about 1975.  I well remember the excitement of seeing the Ring Nebula for the first time!

 

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52 minutes ago, Highburymark said:

.... bought a Meade ETX105 from them - with a full set of Plossls costing just £99! 

Me too!  I remember Pete Gallon telling me that of the three ETX Maksutovs "per cm of aperture it has the highest performance".  He was a good salesman... 😏

The optics were actually very nice but the mount, finder and Autostar GOTO system were pants!  (No reflection intended on today's Meade ETX telescopes which, I assume, are improved). 

Steve 

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2 hours ago, barkis said:

I would find it difficult to by pass First light for any future purchases. 
Their service and communications are very good.   
I'm not being a flag waver here, just voicing my own opinion, born of experience.

Ron.

Have to fully agree with you Ron, sorry I trimmed your quote a little.
FLO's customer service is above and beyond many other retailers and sectors and long may that continue.
I only go elsewhere if FLO don't carry it or have no stock, which is not often.

I will wave the FLO flag with pride 🏳️ (only white as its the only neutral flag in the emoji's) 

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On 13/05/2020 at 14:34, FLO said:

Me too!  I remember Pete Gallon telling me that of the three ETX Maksutovs "per cm of aperture it has the highest performance".  He was a good salesman... 😏

The optics were actually very nice but the mount, finder and Autostar GOTO system were pants!  (No reflection intended on today's Meade ETX telescopes which, I assume, are improved). 

Steve 

Yep - I was told the same thing about the ETX105 Steve! And indeed it always seemed to be the favoured model among other enthusiasts. Though I remember dreaming of owning the 125! Thought a 5” Maksutov was about as good as telescopes could get. The ETX105 was my sole scope for 15 years. Took it all over the place - great tabletop travel scope. Think I only attempted go-to four or five times, each time pouring over the never-ending instructions. Took hours. Never worked. And then one day I left the entire Meade plossl collection on a bus. 

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Thank-you for the kind comments 🙂

We have a little of the original Telescope House (before it was purchased by Bresser-Germany) at FLO because, not many people know this, my colleague Ian King used to work at TH. Many years ago! We also have a good relationship with Steve Collingwood (he worked at TH for many years and made the BC&F website I linked to earlier). He helps us out with mount and telescope repairs during busy periods or when Rob is on holiday. Top man 😎

4 hours ago, Highburymark said:

Though I remember dreaming of owning the 125! 

It wasn't a good telescope. The larger/heavier OTA was too much for the mounts plastic gears. I heard later they upgraded the gears to metal but they didn't upgrade the motors, so they struggled. That was years ago, I daresay they have solved those problems now. 

Steve

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