Never-before-seen images of the Jodrell Bank Observatory have been released to the public ahead of the opening of a new £21.5 million visitor attraction.
The First Light Pavilion – which is part of the wider First Light Project, and is all about telling the stories of its pioneering scientists and opening up the inspirational history of the important Cheshire site – will showcase archives and artefacts, together with animations and projections, when it officially opens to the public this Saturday 4 June.
This major addition to the observatory will open up the inspiring history of the site by sharing the stories of its scientists, and its groundbreaking feats of science and engineering, as well as giving visitors the chance to experience a meteor shower, crawl into a black hole, or even see like a snake.
The building itself was an original idea developed by Jodrell Bank professors Teresa Anderson and Tim O’Brien, was designed by the award-winning architect HASSELL Studio, and takes the form of a grass-topped 76m-diameter dome.
It’s said to “cleverly mirror the shape and scale of the landmark Lovell Telescope”.
One such charming example is the story of Thomas ‘Barry’ Wade – the father of The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Executive Director, Isabel Hunt – who, having lived through WWII and then completed his National Service, put his civil engineering degree from Sheffield University to use at his first civilian job as a trainee engineer at Jodrell Bank from 1951-1952.
During his time on the site, Barry and his colleagues worked on prototype versions of the famous Lovell Telescope.
The unseen images, which have now been released, have been passed down from his working days and not only show Barry and his colleagues’ engineering skills, but also give an insight into what the Jodrell Bank site looked like at the time.
Speaking on the release of the unseen images, Isabel Hunt said: “When I joined The National Lottery Heritage Fund, I was really looking forward to making a difference for the UK’s heritage, but it was even more exciting to find out that one of our major investments at Jodrell Bank was intertwined with my very own family heritage.
“My father spoke very fondly of his time at Jodrell Bank.
“Along with all the other fascinating history being shared as part of the First Light Project, I am sure these stories will inspire the next generation of engineers.”
Speaking ahead of the opening of the First Light Pavilion this weekend, Professor Anderson – Director at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Engagement – said: “After years of planning, we are thrilled to finally be able to announce the opening of First Light – a moment [that] will mark a whole new chapter for Jodrell Bank.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming our first visitors through the doors and in to this beautiful new space.”
The project has been made possible with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded £12.5 million to the project “so that the site’s powerful human stories of curiosity, exploration, and discovery could be shared with the public”, according to chief executive Eilish McGuinness.
She added: “Jodrell Bank is truly a unique heritage site, of national and international importance, with an inspirational story of Britain’s role as a leader in the science of the exploration of the universe.”
You can find out more about the First Light Pavilion here.
Featured Image – Isabel Hunt
Peter Kay moved to tears by standing ovation in Manchester as he returns to stand-up
Peter Kay was moved to tears by the outpouring of love from the audience in the AO Arena before he’d even started his set.
The Bolton comedian, 49, made his long-awaited return to the stand-up scene this weekend, with two sold-out shows in Manchester.
Another wrote: “What an absolute privilege to be there for Peter Kay’s return to the big stage. He got a standing ovation for his entrance and was reduced to tears, never seen anything like it. No spoilers, just a superb night.”
Someone else said: “I was expecting a huge standing ovation for Peter Kay’s return, but that was just mega. I felt so privileged to be there tonight. I’ve waited to see him live for so long. If you recorded anything, please don’t be a d*ck sharing it and ruining it for everyone else.”
One person tweeted: “What a beautiful moment yesterday. Peter Kay in tears after such a rapturous reception.”
Featured image: TikTok, @hannah5290_
Stone Roses bassist Mani raises over £100k for The Christie and local NHS charities
Stone Roses bassist Mani and his wife Imelda have raised over £100,000 for two cancer charities close to their hearts.
After Imelda Mounfield – who is the wife of Stone Roses bassist Gary ‘Mani’ – was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer back in November 2020, the couple not only set out to raise awareness of the devastating disease, but also raise as much money as possible for local cancer charities through an online auction featuring some impressive prizes.
The auction was launched at a fundraising event held at Kimpton Clocktower Ballroom on Friday 18 November, and saw the couples’ friends from the world of music, sport, and entertainment donate an incredible array of exclusive items.
Some auction highlights included Noel Gallagher’s framed and signed set of six platinum discs for the album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, which went for an impressive £8,000, while guitars donated by Damon Albarn, Arctic Monkeys, Primal Scream, Foo Fighters, Peter Hook, and The Who were also all up for sale.
The highest bid went to John Squire’s Jackson Pollock-inspired painted and signed Hofner guitar 3/3 for a whopping £16,800.
Liam Gallagher’s 2022 NME award for ‘Music Moment of the Year’ sold for £4,100, and David Beckham’s signed boots he wore for the last match of his career on 18 May 2013 were sold for £6,800.
All together, over £80,000 was raised from the auction, as well as £24,000 raised on the night of the fundraising event itself – which means that just over £100,000 has now been donated to The Christie Charity andStockport NHS Charity.
Imelda explained that funds were donated to these two charities as they “supported me through my journey.
“Cancer affects not just the person who has it, but everyone around them,” she explained, “I hope that by investing in some more research, we can help alleviate some of the devastation caused to families by cancer.”
Both charities say they are “really touched” and “hugely grateful” for the contributions.
“We’re really touched that Imelda’s experiences as a patient have spurred her and Mani into action for our charity,” said Louise Stimson – Head of Fundraising at The Christie Charity.
While Karen James OBE – Chief Executive for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust – added: “We’re hugely grateful to Imelda and Mani’s efforts in organising the fundraising event and auction [and] we’re proud of the care Imelda and many others with cancer have received at Stepping Hill Hospital.
“This fundraiser for our charity is a really touching display of her thanks, which will help us go on to support more patients in the future.”
Sadly, Imelda’s cancer has spread to her liver and a small nodule in her lung, so she underwent emergency life-saving bowel surgery as it perforated, and after months of treatments, she had the right side of her liver removed.
Imelda is now currently waiting for the next stage of treatment.