Sidmouth observatory visited by founder’s descendant

PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 June 2013

Norman Lockyer Observatory chairman David Strange with the founder's great granddaughter, Wendy Lees

Norman Lockyer Observatory chairman David Strange with the founder's great granddaughter, Wendy Lees

Archant

Sidmouth’s observatory had a surprise visit from the descendant of its star-gazing founder.

Wendy Lees shares her great-grandfather Norman Lockyer’s love of astronomy and says she is proud of his enduring influence, which continues to inspire. She dropped in on her whistle-stop tour of the UK, where she is holidaying from her home in Australia with her husband Rod.

“It feels very close to me and it’s wonderful to have so many people learning so much – it’s a credit to him,” said Wendy.

“I’ve never had a chance to look through the telescopes yet – next time.”

She went on to visit the house where her great-grandfather used to live and his grave in Salcombe Regis.

Wendy last visited the site in 1998, when she was on an exchange working as a teacher in Wales.

Observatory bosses are currently planning to add a shop and extend the display area.

They are looking ahead to the second Sidmouth Science Festival in October when they will welcome guests including television scientist Professor Iain Stewart.

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