Memories of Jodrell Bank revealed

Posted 30 May, 2022

As we prepare for the opening of our National Lottery Heritage Fund supported First Light Pavilion, we’ve unearthed an incredible connection…

Barry Wade, the father of The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Executive Director, Isabel Hunt, had worked as a trainee engineer at Jodrell Bank from 1951-1952.

During his time on site, Barry and his colleagues worked on model versions of the Lovell Telescope.

image Prototype telescope built at Jodrell Bank. © Barry Wade

Images passed down from his working days show off the workers’ engineering skills and how Jodrell Bank used to look.

image People working on site at Jodrell Bank © Barry Wade

Barry not only shared treasured photographs with his family, but also his fond memories and stories. One memory that Isabel recalls is that Barry and his colleagues had an interesting nickname for what is now the Lovell Telescope – the ‘Hat Box’ telescope.

Sir Bernard Lovell had been looking for a solution to balance the dish to create the structure of his telescope. The story on site was that Lovell had a ‘lightbulb moment’ on how to solve the engineering problem when he opened his hat box to get ready for work one day.

I don’t know if that was true or not, but it was one of my father’s lasting memories from his time there.

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 was intertwined with my very own family heritage.

My father spoke very fondly of his time at Jodrell Bank, and 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.

Isabel Hunt

image Three men looking on a colleagues working on a telescope at Jodrell Bank © Barry Wade

We can’t wait to share more stories of the pioneering scientists and engineers in our new First Light Pavilion, find out more here…

More from Jodrell Bank

How curious...


Summer Solstice 2024: Alan Garner Day Speakers

This June, Jodrell Bank hosts an inspiring day of panels, lectures and workshops in celebration of revered local writer Alan Garner. Read more about each event here and book tickets today!


Experience Easter Fun at Jodrell Bank!

Spring is in the air, and what better way to celebrate the Easter holidays than with a visit to Jodrell Bank? 29th March - 14th April


Jodrell Bank welcomes Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal in celebration of UNESCO World Heritage status

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited Jodrell Bank last week (Tuesday 30 January) to mark the occasion of Jodrell Bank Observatory being awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2019.


PREPARE FOR LAUNCH: Adventure awaits at Jodrell Bank this February Half Term!

As February half term approaches, prepare to embark on an extraordinary journey to Jodrell Bank, where science, discovery, and family fun collide in an out-of-this-world experience. This year, we are thrilled to introduce a captivating addition to our lineup – the brand new science show, "Curious Kids."


Visions of the Night Sky: New Exhibition at Jodrell Bank

From distant galaxies and nebulae to our very own corner of Cheshire, this exhibition will take you on a journey through space in stunning detail - all included in the price of entry!


Prepare for May-hem this Half Term at Jodrell Bank!

Memories of Jodrell Bank revealed Posted 30 May, 2022 Culture Heritage News…