Plenty of scope for success

A NEW telescope shop in Birstall with links to the Royal Greenwich Observatory is due to be officially opened tomorrow (Sat).
Staff at Green Witch Telescopes and Binoculars are hosting a day of events at their High Street premises and at the Wellbeing Centre around the corner.
There will be equipment demonstrations, competitions and a fundraising raffle in aid of Help for Heroes and the Martin House Children's Hospice.
Various astronomical and wildlife societies will have stalls at the Wellbeing Centre to showcase their work to potential new members.
Among those exhibiting will be the Batley and Spen Valley Astronomical Society and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.
The shop, which is a sister for the original Green Witch near Cambridge, is being run by Durhamborn astrophysicist Dr Lee Sproats.
Lee boasts a PhD from University College London and taught at the University of Surrey before joining Green Witch in January 2004.
The first Green Witch was set up in 1998 by former Royal Greenwich Observatory deputy director Neil Parker.
Fate then conspired to bring Green Witch to Birstall when Lee met his now fianceé at a Leeds Astronomical Society event.
She is a teacher in Leeds and the pair commuted between there and Cambridge for years before deciding to make West Yorkshire their home.
It brought off the back burner a plan to expand Green Witch, with Birstall's unofficial 'cultural quarter' being seen as the ideal location.
High Street and Nelson Street already boasts the Oakwell Gallery, the Wellbeing Centre, an antiques dealer and a retro hair salon popular with Mods.
And the timing could not be better as interest in astronomy and wildlife observing has been kickstarted recently by TV science guru Brian Cox.
Lee said: "We came to look around Birstall and just loved it. The village centre is nice and High Street is certainly an interesting area.
"We're grateful to the Wellbeing Centre for allowing us to hire a room. One of the questions we get asked most often is about local groups.
"People new to astronomy and bird watching always want to know if there's a local group.
“So for our official opening we've got some to come along."
The opening event runs from 10am to 4pm on Saturday November 5 at both the Green Witch and the Wellbeing Centre.
Green Witch Telescopes and Binoculars is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday. They also trade online at
For more details or for advice on getting involved in astronomy or nature watching call Dr Lee Sproats on 01924 477719.

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