The Twentieth Century Society

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Jodrell Bank: Engineering Marvel and Internationally Renowned Landmark
Jodrell Bank and Crewe
06/10/2018 - 06/10/2018
Jodrell Bank and Crewe

Jodrell Bank: Engineering Marvel and Internationally Renowned Landmark -  Saturday 6 October 2018

Led by: Howard Smith, Twentieth Century Society, Northwest Group

We’ll begin in Crewe town centre – passed by millions of rail passengers but seldom visited – where we will visit Maguire and Murray’s All Saints church (1964-5). This was described as ‘One of the most significant churches built in any country since the war.’(AJ, September 4, 1968) yet it’s still unlisted. London members may be familiar with M & M’s St Paul’s grade II* listed church at Bow Common so why is this unlisted? You decide.

We’re all familiar with the 1952-7 Lovell Telescope at the Jodrell Bank Observatory that dramatically dominates the flat countryside of Cheshire, but do we really know what this Grade I listed structure is like close up? The giant paraboloid reflector, designed by engineer Charles Husband, has been detecting radio waves from space for over 60 years. It was important during the Cold War, tracking the first Sputnik 1 satellite in 1957 and is still at the forefront of modern astrophysics. Clustered around are three other radio telescopes and a complex of laboratories, some of which were recently listed Grade II.

The Society’s North West Group leads this national event to get close up to the Big Dish, an engineering marvel which is as representative of the twentieth century as the Eiffel tower is of the nineteenth. The visit includes a guide-led introduction to the Discovery Centre and other displays, all of which set out to make science and technology highly accessible. The site also includes attractive grounds and an arboretum which should be showing the first signs of autumn colour.

Our coach (Malbank Coaches) will await the 8.40 Virgin train from Euston, which is due to at Crewe 10.12. Leaving the station by the main exit you will find it parked directly outside, by the taxi rank. It is advisable to check West Coast Main Line train times at National Rail Enquiries 03457-484950 or visit

For those from the Northwest who wish to make their own way, we expect to be at All Saints at around 10.30 and Jodrell Bank at 12.00 for the introduction. The site has ample parking. Meet in the main entrance. The coach will depart at 16.30 for the station.

Finish time/place: We aim to be return to Crewe station by 17.00 to catch the 17.27 to Euston (arrives 19.03).

Meals and refreshments available at own cost the Planet Pavilion Café.

Members only £35 including coach/£15 without coach. Tour notes will be provided.

Jodrell Bank is a phone free zone and all electronic devices must be switched off

Image credit: University of Manchester

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