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daz

Return Visit Next Year?

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I agree with the general consensus, namely:

- excellent facilities, except what's been said about the loos/showers

- neat, comfortable well kept grounds

- good night sky. Not the best but nevertheless much better than the average back garden.

- too many ducks.

I think the balance was excellent, I would not trade facilities for a better sky, because it's also very important that people are comfortable. Also, the actual astronomy aspect is not as vital as the social - it would have been a good event even without any astronomy.

I would definitely go again, far as it is from me. Perhaps next time we could ask for the far end field (oh, no - more walking to the loo!!) to keep away from the other campers'/cars'/caravans' lights.

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Couldn't there be a compromise where you get the far end or darkest field away from car lights etc and rent two porta loos, one for the gents and one for the woman.

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Firstly - Daz, it was a real shame not to meet you - you and the team did an absolutely wonderful job putting this together - THANK YOU!

Would you go back again?

Yup... There were upsides and downsides (which folks have already mentioned), but the upsides FAR outweighed the downsides.

Was it dark enough?

Yup - the horizon was also very low to the south, which gave me the opportunity to image treats I cannot capture @ home.

Were the facilities on the site good enough?

The loos were far too far away... Every day, my 7am wakeup meant I had to do the shuffle to the loos :)

The wifi was also woefully inadequate - having wifi but not covering the site was a little weird, although I do understand they only have it on trial, and was therefore free whilst we were there. It just took a visit to the reception to use it!

Did you enjoy the social aspect?

Absolutely - I wish I had done more socialising tbh

Were you there just for the astronomy?

Nope - but I couldn't bear to leave the kit @ home :)

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... rent two porta loos, one for the gents and one for the woman.

Not a bad idea.

We'll need to ask Greg to tone down the chili! :)

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Would you go back again?

Absolutely. Will probably bring my daughter along next time or even the whole family. In fact I might just go there with the family some other time.

Was it dark enough?

I'm a bit spoilt with very dark skies just a few miles away from where I live but yes, it was definitely dark enough. I'd put it only marginally less dark than Kelling and I mean marginally.

Were the facilities on the site good enough?

Yes, everything was fine - I had no problem paying for the showers and they were hot and seemingly always available when I went near them. It is a fair walk to the loos which is hard on some - it's about 200 metres.

The site is trialling wi-fi so the range was limited but it gave me an excuse to go to the shop to stock up on chocolate rations. It was also free :)

The facilities were also clean and tidy.

Did you enjoy the social aspect?

Absolutely - that's largely what I go for. (and the chilli of course) :)

Were you there just for the astronomy?

See above :(

The site is, IMHO, a very good compromise between the usually conflicting demands of a need for dark skies and nice facilities. Unlike the other major star parties which are at other ends of the country this one is only 2 1/2 hours away from me :)

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Helen's idea of a Bring & Buy table was a good one. It was a success, even though it was thrown together at the last-minute. I have a feeling it'll be a lot bigger next year. Perfect for those wanting to sell larger items that are awkward to post.

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I thought Lucksall was a nice site and I would happily return there next year. Southern skies were very good and it was a nice dark sky site. I agree it's not as dark as Kelling Heath, but then few places in the England are.

The 'trek' to the loo wasn't that far! (about 250 metres).

I agree that the 20p for the shower was a bit of a pain, but it wouldn't influence my decision whether or not to stay at a camp site.

I liked the site and would happily return there for SGL5.

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I'd agree with pretty much everything that's been said.....must bring a bucket next time though!

Thanks Daz and all who organised this excellent event, and sorry not to meet you Daz.

The social aspect was brilliant, and the icing on the cake was the clear night on Saturday, but it would still have been great without it.

Cheers

Rob

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Yes, we would definitely go back there again. Thought site was plenty dark enough, defintely darker than our garden. I thought the site was very nice and well maintained. Yes it was a bit of a trek to the toilet block, but I expected that being in the rally field. No doubt we would have seen more light from that area of the site, if the toilet block was closer to the rally field.

My only very minor gripe was the 20p for the shower and it was a bit annoying the way the water kept stopping every 10 seconds (or however long it was), but it was hot and there was a shower cubicle free when I wanted to use the shower so it certainly wouldn't put me off going there again.

As it was our first star party, I really liked the fact we were all together. It made it easier to chat with fellow stargazers. The social side was excellent, the stargazing on Sat eve was a bonus. Overall I would say this site was an excellent choice.

Sarah

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I didn't get to this one because of the distances involved, Maybe SGL could organise a couple of starparties a year ? one South and one a bit further North ?

Failing that I will try to do Hereford next year.

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I didn't get to this one because of the distances involved

Where do you live??

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I suppose its difficult to get an "ideal" location for everyone...

I quite liked the discussion that took place around Rob H's 14" scope about hiring a 16 tonner and heading south... SGL5 Fr maybe.... :)

Peter....

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Mmmm, perhaps SGL5 in France would not be such a problem as we might think?

Sure, more planning and cost but if the burdon of the organisation were to be split among us? Food for thought eh?

Barry.

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SGL France could be great.

Amandas brother is an HGV driver and could take everything down for us I'm sure.

We would need to plan carefully, but what fun it would be :)

Rob

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Greg I live in Newcastle, I know folk travel further but I'm not a spring chicken anymore and a long drive alone tends to make me sleepy these days.

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We know a man who lives in France.

Naz - INCOMING!!!!!!!

Many thanks for all your feedback. Now I feel even worse for not being able to attend!

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Hmmm!!, a Star Party in France eh!!, now that would be something :)

Having caravanned around most of France, you really don't need to go too far in order to find dark skies, and nice weather of course.

Both Brittany and Normandy can offer this, without the need to travel 700 'ish' miles down south.

Given the cost of fuel, which isn't going to get any cheaper :), it would keep the travelling costs to a minimum.

The ferry service from Portsmouth to Caen or Cherbourg, is very nice. That's if you travel with Sea France, as opposed to P&O :(.

Oh yes, I do like to 'buy British', but I also like to travel in comfort :).

Dave

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OMG!

How much do I love France?!

The shoes, the wine, the clothes, the cuisine, the company....and telescopes too?!

I'm flying over to Dinard and staying in Dinan this May.

Lovely dark skies - I shall be taking my binos.

Mind you, Astronut has spoilt me now with his image-stabilised binos. They are fantabulous. I'll be using my 7x50s, but I'll be thinking of his Canon...

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Extra cost of going to France = fuel (at least £100 more, possibly more than that), ferry (£100) + probably at least two days extra leave entitlement used.

Suddenly the base line extra cost for two people in a car has gone up at least £200.

France would be great, but I'm afraid with the extra cost, and on top of that the lousy exchange rate, it would probably be beyond my budget.

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Yeah me and the wife would definately come back next year. It was a great place, toilets could be closer though, next time I will bring my porta loo. lol

cheers

Neil & Claire

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Firstly a big thank you too the everyone who organized the event :)

I had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, just going to to SGL4 to put names to faces and and to look at the fantastic kit that everyone brought made it worthwhile for me. The icing on the cake was the clear skies on Saturday night....awesome, I spent 2 hours just sat in a chair just looking up visually.....no scope needed. Stars were visible right down to the horizon even in the slight LP from Ross. Even the LP from Hereford did not distract as that was half the LP of my home skies.

The campsite itself was more than adequate IMHO and I have no complaints about any of the amenities, this was my first camping trip so I cannot compare with anywhere else. Toilets were no problem in my view ( we had the bikes with us) :(:D , missed opportunity there I guess. I could have rented them out to the people with weak bladders :)

Will I be at SGL5....you bet, I might even uproot my kit for some imaging.:)

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I would agree with the majority of the comments given already.

The campsite was immaculate and the rally field woud shame other campsites main fields. You could play bowls the grass was so flat.

The skies were fantastic with a great low southern horizon.

I will certainly be going back there for a few weekends as it is only 25 miles from my home.

The only negatives were

The distance to the toilets, paying for the shower and the pesky ducks and midges.

Looking forward to the SGL5 and lets hope work commitments dont get in the way next time Daz.

Regards

Kevin

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Yes definitely, good site and dark sky, I did'nt find the Hereford light pollution too bad, and the southern view was great. I agree with Dave re the site facilities and as a Caravan Club member I will be making similar points to the Club. 10 second shower bursts are not on especially the 20p charge. Portaloos possible???. Certainly more rubbish bins required.

Keith

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Hi Daz it was agreat site nice and flat and good skys realy enjoyed it very good company every one was very friendly and I look forward to going back next year thanks to all the cooks for great meals and l every one who organize it :):hello2:

Stephen

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