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daz

Return Visit Next Year?

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To all SGL4 attendees....

Having missed out on the fun, I'd like to get organised well in advance for next year, but would appreciate some feedback on the site, and on the star party itself.

Would you go back again?

Was it dark enough?

Were the facilities on the site good enough?

Did you enjoy the social aspect?

Were you there just for the astronomy?

etc

etc

I'd like good and bad points so we can make next years even better!

Many thanks :)

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Daz, I thought it was a great site so to answer your questions.... YES! yes, yes (but bit of a walk from the far end of the site where we were but very good), yes, no wanted to meet folks and natter as well.

The etc bit.... good size pitches, flat, tent pegs push into the ground, unobstructed views, some glow in the NE from Hereford but nobody seemed the least bit concerned. Family friendly site the few kids with us seemed to have a great time, for fishing types (not me) there is a £5 for a day coarse fishing license to fish on the Wye which borders the site.

I would go there again no problem

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Gets the thumbs up from me! :) would definitely go again. The only downside was the rather long trek to the loos....

Was perfectly dark enough and the slight glow from Hereford in the NE wasn't a problem, facilities were fine, social aspect was very good.

regards,

Alex

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I thought it was a great venue Daz and a smashing event. I suppose the loos are a bit of a walk from the rally field but for those like me, who need the excersize, thats probably a good thing !.

I'd go back there again for a Star Party, or just a nice break actually, at the drop of a hat. It's a well run camp site in a really nice location. And the skies really were pretty dark on Saturday night !.

For me, the social side of things is just as important as observing - I found sharing experience, scopes and laughs really stimulating.

Thanks for organising this one :)

John

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I'd definitely got to another "party" there ... even if i didn't take the gear with me I'd go to stay next time

Peter...

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I'd definately go back again.

It was plenty dark enough with a great flat south horizon. Slight glow low on the SSE horizon but it didn't spoil the view of M4 in Scorpius later on (my lowest dec Messier to date). More glow (but not too high) to the NW from Hereford.

Bit of a trek to the shower/toilet block and the bins for rubbish were few and far between. I was there mainly for the astronomy but the social side, as always, was great.

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Yes I would go back, I'm not long back home after the long drive, but feeling great. SGL is a magnificent forum, but the real flavour of what it is all about, came out in those three days in Lucksall.

I have never met so many pleasant people in one place in my life..

Only one night of astronomy, but what a night it was.

A big thank you to the guys who put it all together, and also to Greg an Co. for the grub. Steve for displaying some of Flo's stuff too.

Thanks to everyone there for making it a memorable weekend.

Ron.:)

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I am really glad that everyone enjoyed the location and the dark skies. I knew it was good and Saturday night proved it. I will give it a thumbs up for next year especially living 8 minutes from the site!!

Mark

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Yes and you could do the chippy run ,save me doing 90 mph around those bends so the chips dont get cold hehhehehehehhe .

The site was excellent , prob one of the best as regards a well kept site , pitches immaculate, and plenty of room ,as its been said Toilets a long way away , but i guess i needed the excercise, waste bins ,very bad , not enough .

Dark skies , i cant comment as i left at 12 midday Saturday so missed the clear sky.

Rog:)

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I think it's a great location and a nice site.

OK - you had to think ahead regards the loo's - but I didn't find that too much of a problem.

I'd definately go back.

Barry.

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We really liked the location, the site was great, with clean facilities and presentation (the loos were a bit of a trek, but not too bad), Saturday's sky was really good with only a little light pollution.

The company was excellent - couldn't have asked for better - just as important as the sky!

My 15 year old son had come along prepared to be somewhat bored - he has actually admitted to having had a good time and, can we go to the next SGL please? (result!)

Thanks for the organisation, Daz - a real shame you couldn't come along.

Cheers

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I thought the site was good: the pitches were flat and it was kept tidy.

The showers were an adventure - having to rinse your hair in 5 second bursts was a study in time and motion.

And it's true that the walk to the loos was a trek - it nearly killed me walking all the way back to Dad's caravan(!)

But I would certainly go back.

It's a thumbs up.

On a different note - for all you sceptics, who doubted the existence of a killer whale in the moat of Dudley castle and zoo in the 70s, would you care to peruse this picture?....(ahem, Richard....nudge nudge).

Birmingham Mail - Videos & Pics - Birmingham History - Places - Dudley Zoo

It was nothing to be proud of though - the poor thing was kept in a tiny pool and was often ill. But it is true!

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I thought the site was good: the pitches were flat and it was kept tidy.

The showers were an adventure - having to rinse your hair in 5 second bursts was a study in time and motion.

And it's true that the walk to the loos was a trek - it nearly killed me walking all the way back to Dad's caravan(!)

But I would certainly go back.

It's a thumbs up.

On a different note - for all you sceptics, who doubted the existence of a killer whale in the moat of Dudley castle and zoo in the 70s, would you care to peruse this picture?....(ahem, Richard....nudge nudge).

Birmingham Mail - Videos & Pics - Birmingham History - Places - Dudley Zoo

It was nothing to be proud of though - the poor thing was kept in a tiny pool and was often ill. But it is true!

Lulu, Its time to put the cider down...... :)

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Lulu, Its time to put the cider down...... :)

Errmmm....I am actually quaffing one right now...how did you guess? :)

Friday was cloudy, but it was still fun, eh?

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Great site.

Fantastic people.

Outstanding viewing on Saturday.

Thoroughly enjoyed it. Now to buy myself some new eyepieces....

Ps.(Apparently the Dudley Killer Whale is a well known urban myth.....)

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I thought the site was excellent and would definately go back.

Nice mix of social and astronomy.

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As someone who has been caravanning for something like 30 years, in which time I've stayed at a lot of campsites, good, bad, and indifferent, my comments are:

Firstly, ignoring the astronomy aspect:

The site was clean, well laid out and maintained.

However, the facilities, that is to say, the toilets, showers, chemical toilet emptying, grey water disposal, and rubbish disposal, were woefully inadequate for the size of the site.

I would hazard a guess that the number of toilet cubicles, to the number of pitches, was at the legal minimum, if that.

Having a shower in the caravan, I had no need to use those on site. However, I was quite surprised to hear that they had to be paid for. This certainly isn't the 'norm'.

As has already been said, the toilet block was quite a trek, not only from the rally field, but also from many of the regular pitches too. The same goes for the chemical toilet emptying point, and rubbish disposal point, which were located at the toilet block.

I was quite surprised/disappointed to see that grey water is emptied at the drinking water points, and as such people are likely to use the drinking water tap to rinse out their waste water containers. The guy (not sgl) in a camper van, on the next pitch to me, also commented on this.

This was somewhat surprising, as the site is affiliated to the Caravan Club, on whos sites, this is an absolute no-no, as it should be.

From an astronomy aspect, the rally field has an excellent southern horizon. Although the view to east is somewhat restricted by the hills adjacent to the site, it really wasn't a significant issue. There was a small amount of light pollution from Ross-on-Wye to the south, but this didn't extend to a significant height.

The north east is a completely no-go area, due to the light pollution from Hereford.

Comparing the skies to Kelling, then IMO, Kelling is noticeably better.

Perhaps more signifcant is the the fact that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights were cloudy at Lucksall, while over in the East they were completely clear.

With most of our weather coming in from West/South West, this is not unusual, and the East generally enjoys drier and less cloudy conditions. Most of our 'weather' is usually 'dumped' on the western side of the country, and then dries out by the time it gets over to the East.

So, if SGL was at Lucksall again, I would be prepared to travel there, purely from the social aspect. If I needed, as many people do, to visit a site from astro point of view, then Lucksall would not be my first choice.

The above is my open and honest opinion which, while highlighting a lot of negatives as I see them, it in no way detracts from the unquestionable success of SGL4, and the hard work of all involved in its organisation.

What made it a memorable weekend ?, the answer to that is simple; the people that were there. :)

Dave

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Thanks for that Dave..

I've got a few others to look at over the next few months and will report back.

The problem I had was getting a campsite to take 60 people and keep them all together as quite a few of the ones I contacted didn't have the rally fields of this quality, the ones that did didn't have a dark sky at all.

Greg

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Thanks for that Dave..

The problem I had was getting a campsite to take 60 people and keep them all together as quite a few of the ones I contacted didn't have the rally fields of this quality, the ones that did didn't have a dark sky at all.

Greg

Not an easy task by any 'stretch of the imagination' Greg.

The quality of the rally field at Lucksall, was a pleasant surprise. In fact, calling it a rally field, does not do it justice. It was a 'good as it comes' IMO.

Now, if only we could pick it up and move it elswhere :)

Dave

Edited by centroid

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I bow to Dave's greater knowledge of standard of facilities on camspites (have to say the toiltet blocks were a bit of a trek!) but I thought it was clean tidy and generally looked alright to me. So much so I'm thinking of taking L'Missus and the boys down there for a weekend in the Summer. The skies in terms of LP were almost as good as Kelling (the glow NW from Hereford being the obvious exception), what was the highlight was the rather good southern horizon where I caught Scorpius and Corvus for the first time ever plus other constellation whch are too faint from my back garden.

I'd be more than happy to have SGL5 there but then I'd be happy with SGL5 wherever it is :).

Tony..

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Me and the kids, and possibly one or two other members are likely to meet there again.

It was about 2.5 yards to the toilet from where my kit was, but then I had the only toilet on the rally field :) (caravan)

The southern horizon held the most interest it seemed to me, and IMO was better to view and image then Kelling. I shall be going there when I next attempt the Eagle neb.

Hard to judge the skies against kelling, the last spring party was at the start of april and the extra weeks difference showed in the sky. We had great view of faint stuff, and the cameras were picking them up a treat, so no complaints from me regarding the skies.

I personally liked the fact that the whole group was in a compact seperate area, that didnt amount to a muddy field, and which fact I think added to the community feeling which was well in evidence. But it wasnt exclusive or off putting and several holidaymakers came to see what was going on, which was nice.

I'd go back. I am going back.

Cheers

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I really liked the place and being less than 2 hours away makes it even better.

If there are any spin-off meets here please would you let me know as I was thinking along those lines myself.

Pizza

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Would you go back again?

Definitely

Was it dark enough?

Yes. It is difficult to find a site that has both a dark sky and amenities like electric hookup, a warm shower block, etc, but this year I feel it was an excellent balance.

Were the facilities on the site good enough?

Yes, though the loos were some distance and you need 20p coins for the showers

Did you enjoy the social aspect?

Yes, definitely, the atmosphere and social was excellent. It was also good to see the way everyone was pleased to share the experience with others. I remember one man was quite emotional after seeing Saturn for the first time.

Were you there just for the astronomy?

No, we already have dark skies here in Devon so for me it was mostly for the social.

I'd like good and bad points so we can make next years even better!

Overall the site was very good but it might be an idea to also book the pitches adjoining the kids play area so that we are further away from regular campers, either that or to move into the other rally field. Those with a weak bladder might consider investing in a portaloo or similar as its a bit of a trek to the loos. The site also charges for the showers (20p meter) which is unusual these days.

Overall, I was very impressed with the site and the pitches and am even considering returning with the family sometime for a break.

HTH :)

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