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Last Updated: Friday, 26 August 2005, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Coastal landmark draws in crowds
The Great Union Camera Obscura (courtesy of manxscenes.com)
The Manx landmark is manned by the Isle of Man Victorian Society
A refurbished Isle of Man landmark has proved a major success in its first season as a tourist attraction.

More than 4,000 people have already visited the Great Union Camera Obscura this summer, the Department of Tourism and Leisure said on Friday.

The Victorian curiosity is visible again on Douglas Head after extensive refurbishment by the Department of Local Government and the Environment.

Camera obscuras project images onto walls in darkened rooms.

They do it with the help of a pinhole and telescope lens.

'Exceeded expectations'

The Great Union Camera Obscura is voluntarily manned by the Isle of Man Victorian Society.

The society's Peter Kelly said: "The number of visitors has far exceeded our expectations and our volunteers have been kept busy throughout this first season of operation.

"The enthusiasm for the Camera Obscura from visitors is encouraging - it is particularly interesting that in this hi-tech era children are still fascinated by what is a fairly simple mechanical device."

Eddie Lowey MLC, chairman of the government's leisure division, said: "As adverse weather conditions do interfere with successful viewing from the Camera Obscura, it was decided to open weekends and bank holidays only throughout this first season.

"As the last weekend of opening will be 3rd and 4th September, we would encourage as many people as possible to make the trip to Douglas Head to visit the Camera Obscura."

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