The Shelley Observatory

Click on any of these images for a larger version

The children's climbing frame left by the previous owners of the house - this had to go!
Part of the pack I sent to the local planning office to obtain a Certificate of Lawful Development - this certifies that no planning permission is required. Since I live in a green belt area it was better to be safe than sorry.
Digging begins. All done manually with a spade but after 7 months of solid cloud and rain, the ground was quite soft.
The wooden formwork in place. This will hold the wet concrete in place and will physically isolate the concrete for the shed base from the concrete bases of each pier. It will allow all the concrete to be delivered and laid in one go.
Each of the two piers will sit on a cubic meter of concrete. Here is one of the holes for that concrete.
Hardcore in place and rebar (reinforcement bar) that will connect the concrete pier to the concrete base.
Concrete shortly after pouring. Tarpaulin to protect it form the heavy rain. Two guys worked really hard barrowing 4.5 cubic meters of concrete from the lorry into the garden.
Work begins building the wall frames and the trusses for the roof. The bench saw was definitely a worthwhile and time saving investment!
A pile of wall frames and trusses ready for construction
Wooden formwork removed showing the shed foundation and the physically isolated cubic meter foundations for each pier.
The wooden floor and wall frames now in place. The metal ventilation ducting will be later chopped to the right height and filled with concrete to form the piers.
The two runners for the roll-off roof. The wheels will run along 40mm angle iron and are good quality load bearing wheels with proper bearings because the roof will weigh well over half a tonne.
Runners in position on the angle iron with the roof trusses attached
Roof in closed position.
Roof in retracted position.
Most of the interior panelling in place.
A "site visit" from some members of the Orpington Astronomical Society. They help put in place some long lengths of shiplap and the first of 4 flaps becomes operational.
Most of the exterior shiplap cladding in place.
The drilled steel discs arrive. They will be bolted to the top of the concrete piers. Note that the mount is deliberately off-centre because it allows greater travel for the scope before it collides with the concrete pier.
Ventilation duct ready to be chopped to height, put in position and filled with concrete.
Carefully marking the North/South line before the concrete goes in.
Now full of wet concrete and the threaded rods are set into it.
Some finishing touches ...
... and the exterior caldding is just about complete.
Inside view showing both piers.
Outside view.
Trench dug to lay armoured cable for mains electrics plus an extra conduit for network/data connections
Sunset. Roof retracted and flaps down.
Night-time image looking south.
First light!!