Sir Arnold Wolfendale and I on the opening of the Cygnus Observatory on 2nd October 2002 for Sunderland Astro Soc. I actually built this observatory with the help of all the volunteers at SAS.
The observatory still has a 14″ telescope and is available for public observations.

The Cygnus Observatory situated at Washington Wildfowl trust on the outskirts of the city of Sunderland. The best Astro Society in the Universe! Pay them a visit you wont regret it.

Here is a brief description of the facilities I have built so far.

On the 25th April 2008 I opened the Kielder Observatory. Joined by a dedicated team of volunteers – Lynn, Kev, Austin Paul and Malcolm. Together we set about communicating the science of astronomy.

The observatory quickly grew in popularity – and soon we were sold out regularly, we developed a way in which we could convey the wonders of the universe to all who visited with care and passion

Our core values shone in the boundless enthusiasm of these dedicated professionals. They were used to delivering quality experiences for all who come to visit us all year round, leading our guests from the Northern Lights to the depths of the Milky Way galaxy and out into the observable universe. I worked at the observatory for 11 years as lead astronomer then Director and ultimately CEO.

I Don’t attend the observatory sadly nowadays – I left in 2019 to pursue more opportunities but one day Im sure I will be back – delivering astronomy the only way I know how – with everything I have. In precisely the way I did for 11 years but my biggest pride is in building a facility that has given jobs to young people who otherwise would never have had the opportunity to work in science – from hairdressers and nurses to ex kitchen staff and farmers.

In 2002 I helped build the Cygnus Observatory in Sunderland – at the time I was a brickie so naturally I designed the base and built it…operated by the SAS – My advice get over there ASAP!

The Gillian Dickinson Astro Imaging
Academy situated alongside the Kielder Observatory. I along with a colleague raised the money through the LEADER group and the Gillian Dickinson trust to build the Facility. I designed the functionality of the facility as well as the instruments and systems. Opened in April 2018. Architects were JDDK Newcastle.