Ernest J Elliot “Ernie” was senior craftsman at the firm for over 50 years. Each classic instrument was hand crafted from scratch on the premises. Ernie would even grind and trim lenses to fit cells. He spent most of his time in the later years restoring and repairing instruments for auction houses and top London antique dealers.
Tubes were rolled and drawn from flat sheet Brass, dressed and finished in the traditional method using the original drawbench. Ernie’s real passion was not actually telescopes. He loved antique microscopes.
Few could claim to match Ernie’s skill and experience in telescope making. He retired in 1992 and made a one-off batch of 20 75mm f16 brass refractors as a commemorative piece to mark his retirement. These were really quite special and featured very high quality Carton lenses from Japan.
22 years later Steve Collingwood assembled one last instrument using some remaining original parts made by Ernie but not used at the time, and finishing the rest himself to make the last telescope form the workshop of BC&F. He now owns the instrument and uses it regularly at his own workshop in Kent.
Of course it would not be right to mention Ernie, without then talking about Gerry Morris