George’s Telescope

Updated for 2017 – we have plans!  Click on the two images below to see the draft plans for our new Observatory proposal, as well as some concept images of what the finished area could look like!

The proposed new Observatory ushers in a new age – being a two story complex comprising of an elevated platform with disability access and a multi purpose function room. The curved exterior shape and futuristic design of the complex drew inspiration from its surroundings. On the ground floor is a spacious open plan area with panoramic windows overlooking the hills. The exterior of the building is designed to compliment the adjacent Ashton Memorial and he Butterfly House.

We’ve had a very good response from several interested parties, and we will be putting together a proposal for lottery funding and a business plan to make this a reality!

Ashton Site

To honour our son’s passion for astronomy we’d like to build an observatory in his memory in Lancaster’s Williamson Park.

We’d like George’s Telescope to inspire countless little scientists just like our son, and prove that while there are some things which are beyond our world, they’re not beyond our love and appreciation. That’s how George felt about the stars, and that’s how we’ll always feel about him.

We’d like to build George’s Telescope beside the Palm House, where the park’s Mini Beast Hut stands now.

Lancaster’s mini beasts will get a new home built for them just a few metres away, and Ashton Memorial will shield George’s Telescope from the city lights so that they won’t affect the clarity of the night sky.

With fifty acres of beautiful parkland surrounding it in the heart of Lancaster, we think the observatory would be the perfect memorial to George – and could even provide the foundations for more teaching facilities to grow around it and ignite a passion for science in people of all ages.

Lancaster City Council, Lancashire County Council and local charity The Friends of Williamson Park are all in favour of building George’s Telescope, and there’s no doubt in our minds that the observatory will be a great addition to life in Lancaster.

There used to be an observatory in Williamson Park, but this was demolished in 1960.  Lancaster is a bit too bright for the old location now, anyway!

old imageOur plans for the observatory have even been backed by physicist and broadcaster Prof Brian Cox – along with David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, who told Professor Cox about our appeal when the two met at the SET for Britain Awards 2011 in London.

Our son was an organ donor, and his decision saved five lives. As well as campaigning for a more proactive approach to organ donation, we’ve also taken George’s story to the national media – with appearances on the BBC and ITV daytime and evening news, as well as Granada and Look North West. We’ve made several appearances on Radio Lancashire and Bay Radio too, to tell as many people as possible about our appeal and fundraising work.

As our story has spread, Newsround and GMTV have picked up on it too – and even the BBC World Service and Sky World News. George’s story also sparked a special production by Granada and the BBC to promote the crucial role that organ donation plays in saving lives.

George's DoodleGranada even interviewed George’s dad, Jonathan, after he climbed Mt Kilimanjaro to raise £26,000 for North West Air Ambulance – on what would have been George’s 11th birthday, 3rd August 2010. We’ve also been able to donate five telescopes to George’s Primary School, St Helens in Overton, so that even more kids can share in our son’s passion for astronomy.

We’d love for George’s Telescope Appeal to gain even more momentum on a national level – but everything we’ve achieved so far has been down to the huge generosity of local people who’ve poured their time and energy into helping our cause.

We couldn’t have gotten as far as we have without the unwavering support of our friends, along with people all over the world who’ve helped our appeal. Some of you we know, and some of you we don’t – but you’ll always have our immense gratitude either way.