JODRELL BANK IS THE MEMORIAL TO SIR BERNARD
It seems an eternity since the night in Congleton town hall when a slightly-built, academic-like figure held a capacity audience spellbound with his vision of outer space. I'm afraid his world of planets and pulsars were way beyond my horizons. But then Professor Bernard Lovell, later to become Sir Bernard, was on a mission to show Jodrell Bank radio telescope would not be a blot on the landscape. Many years later when Jodrell Bank was not only well-established but had listed status as an iconic structure of the 20th century, I had good reason to thank Sir Bernard for his powers in persuading the planners to allow its construction. Most people are unaware that JB has the final say on significant developments because of the increased risk of electrical interference to its operations.
|Sir Bernard Lovell|
Sir Bernard, as everyone is aware, died earlier this month at the great age of 98, still in the house at Swettenham where occasionally as a cub reporter I would call with my news editor, the late John Condliffe, who in later life took over the ownership of the Congleton Chronicle, in search of the hottest news from Jodrell Bank. He was always most courteous and I don't believe he ever sent an inquiring journalist away without a nugget for his paper.
|First moon landing|
The funeral service for the telescope's founding father is to be held appropriately in the tiny church of St Peter this Thursday in his village where the radio astronomer played the organ for some 40 years. I hear the great and the good will be present, the church filled with family and close friends, the service relayed to the overflow congregation on closed circuit TV in a series of marquees on the car park of the Swettenham Arms. Sir Bernard's final request was for a simple burial in the churchyard with his wife, who died in 1993. And I guess his most fitting memorial will be that giant neighbour of ours towering above the Cheshire landscape.