4th April 2019

Southport & District Beekeepers were moving their Apiary from just outside Formby to Hesketh Park in Southport when they discovered an old microscope they had been given back in the 70s. 

It was an old PriorLux 100 series donated by the widow of the late Trevor Willets, a former pathologist, and was clearly in need of repair. 

Southport contacted the maker Prior Scientific and was told that they did not do repairs. So they put the microscope on Ebay hoping to raise a few hundred pounds that way so they could enhance the new apiary. Then they got a call from the sales manager at Prior who asked them to send across some pictures of the microscope. 

It turned out that Prior was celebrating its 100 year anniversary and thought the microscope would fill a space in its museum of microscopy. 

Barry Milne. chair of Southport & District Beekeepers, said "They wanted it for their museum of instruments and offered us a more up-to-date stereo microscope in exchange but you need a proper composite microscope for dissection and to see the diseases bees suffer from. So they repaired it and let us have it back!" 

Robert Haggart, Prior Scientific Product Manager said: "It's great to see an old microscope still being used today and the impact it is still having on the world around us."

Trevor Willets was well known for keeping his bees along the side of the Formby Bypass. Some of his hives were stolen and he saw them being advertised and got them back. 

I'm sure he would love to see his old microscope back in action in the twenty first century! Maybe some of you have ancient instruments at the back of your sheds too!