Steve Collingwood Joined the BC&F sales department in the Meade UK office. After a year in sales he moved to the workshop to run the service department . Having studied engineering at college he had a keen interest in all things technical. He completed training as a Meade certified technician and worked in the workshops repairing and servicing Meade instruments. During this time he also learnt optical testing and collimation. There were always enquiries about the old Fullerscopes instruments and older BC&Co brass instruments that the company weren’t set up to work on any longer. The tube works had been closed down in the early 1990’s. Ernie was long retired though Gerry was still around and visited quite often. After a visit to Farringdon road for a website training session, he had a poke around the basement and came across Ern’s old lathe, and lots of left over tooling and this sparked a keen interest in re-opening the brass work shop. Over the next few years, Steve poured over Ernie’s old notebooks, and job sheets, schedules, interviews. Gerry took a lot of time to visit the Tunbridge Wells workshop and help fill in all the gaps possible. It was in 2005 that everything was put to the test properly. Steve had restored quite a few older instruments by then and had a good working knowledge of a wide range of traditional instruments as well as becoming a bit of a company historian and Fullerscopes /BC&Co buff.
After a visit down to Selsey to have lunch with Patrick Moore, Patrick mentioned that his old BC&Co refractor was in need of some TLC. He had owned it and used it for 70 years and it was getting a bit tired. The job was to simply give the telescope a good service. Patrick just wanted the telescope to be able to withstand another 70 years of use.
Details of the restoration project can be found here: