One of the benefits available to members of the society is that after suitable training, members can have almost unrestricted access to the observatory, and its 61cm telescope. Telescope access is available to anyone who has been a member of the society for at least one year, and who passes a basic test of competence.
Once the test has been passed, the member can apply for an access card giving full access to the Observatory and all of its facilities including the main telescope, the Meade LX-90 telescope, Reverse Binoculars, and the SolarView Hydrogen-Alpha solar telescope.
Before taking the telescope test, members must complete a basic telescope training course, designed to train members to safely operate the telescope, and to enter and leave the building. The course also covers what to do and who to contact in the event of an emergency.
Telescope Training is usually held during the winter months and all members wishing to undertake training need to register their interest as soon as they have been a member for a full year.