Transcript of letter 1 from Ralph Copeland to Fred Holloway.
10 May 1896
I was very much interested in the particulars you were able to give me of old Gorton friends.
We have got some parts of the observatory going but a great deal still remains to be done before the whole place is in working order. Fortunately we began with our largest telescope so we have had the use of it for the last six months.
Now about your visit to which I look forward with much pleasure.- In any other year August would have been a suitable month; but this year I am going round the North Cape to observe the Total Eclipse of the sun on August 9th and shall not be home again until about the end of that month. But could you not manage to come at Whitsuntide? Or is there such an urgent demand for cartridges just now? You would find us busy at work setting up all the apparatus we are preparing for the eclipse.
If you could come on the 22nd or 23rd you would have the advantage of Whitsunday & could stay as long as you like if you can only be spared from home.
We are going to Norway by the mail steamer and not by one of the excursions. This gives us more time but will oblige us to find quarters on land in a rather uncivilised place. A few years ago this would have concerned me little as I have often lived in a tent in a much more inclement place but for several winters past I have been bothered with rheumatism a little and therefore do not like to run any needless risks.
It is a pleasure(?) to hear that you have had such happy times with your children. They are indeed the greatest pleasure one has, if they only behave well and are blessed with health and strength.
Hoping to hear that you can come at Whitsuntide, ?? with kind regards to yourself and Mrs Holloway,
P.S. As soon as I know when you are to reach Edinburgh I will send exact particulars how you are to get out here. R.C.