Visited with Millhouse and Madhat
I'd been looking at doing this one for a while and had already spoken to a few people that had done it previously and seemed to get the impression that it was really on top and packed with PIR's. Obviously that makes it sound even more inviting to be, but i just hadn't got round to reccy it yet. We had all just arrived back at my house on a cold Sunday night, after spending a weekend in London. We were all sleep deprived, but fancied something epic to close the weekend. I mentioned Jodrell Bank in jest, but within ten minutes we were on the road and heading to the array. Through muddy fields and ducking our way past security lights we found ourselves at the bottom of the main attraction, the Lovell telescope. We sat around for about twenty minutes near the bottom trying to work on a plan and get a 'feel' for the site. After the twenty minutes was spent, we decided that there wasn't really going to be a plan and as usual, run, duck and climb was going to be the best course of action.
Once we were climbing up the telescope, Madhat had mentioned to me that she must be really tired as it looked like there was someone sitting outside in a leather chair, i laughed and told her she was hallucinating. As we came further up the telescope however, it dawned on me that she was right, well sort of. The main operator of the telescope was sat in a glass fronted office overlooking the other side of the dish with two screens in front of him. I have no idea how he didn't spot us, but he didn't. Once we were as high as we could go on the dish, it was time to take some pictures. This was all going well until the dish started to move! It was a mixture of sheer horror and giggling as the wheels fired up with a very loud whining action and the whole telescope started to move anti-clockwise a few feet. I can't explain the feeling of being on a high structure as it moves at the same time, it was awesome. I just want to try it clockwise next time.
After the shots were done, the array had moved round a further three times and i was starting to get worried that we would have to climb down in full view of the glass fronted office, so it was time to GTFO. On the way down however it was clear that security were now doing their patrols, as we could see their torches flicking and scanning across the site. We climbed back up to hide in a room further up the structure to wait for them to finish their patrols, and then it was really time to GTFO. Top explore and what and end to a top weekend. Cheers guys.
the Lovell Telescope is the third largest steerable radio telescope in the world. There are three other active telescopes located at the observatory; the Mark II, as well as 42 ft (13 m) and 7 m diameter radio telescopes. Jodrell Bank Observatory is also the base of the Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network (MERLIN), a National Facility run by the University of Manchester on behalf of the Science and Technology Facilities Council.