Last year, the nation was saddened to learn of the death of Sir Bernard Lovell, the great astronomer and scientific visionary. As many of you know, Sir Bernard lived next door to the Swettenham Arms for many years, and 31st August 2013 would have been his 100th birthday.
The 76-metre Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank, named for its creator, dominates the local countryside as Sir Bernard himself once dominated the world of radio astronomy. Of course, the telescope is not only a local beacon but also a national symbol of scientific progress, and in 2006 came top in a BBC poll of ‘unsung landmarks’. In 2011, it was shortlisted for World Heritage site status in recognition of its contribution to the science of astronomy.
It remains a wonderful legacy for the great astronomer, whom Professor Brian Cox regarded as “an inquisitive scientist all the way”. Sir Bernard was knighted in 1961 for contributions to the field of astronomy, as well as for his work on the telescope. Remembered by locals as a warm and generous man, he was a keen cricketer, a musician who sometimes played the organ at Swettenham church, and also a renowned arboriculturalist who created the Quinta arboretum at the back of the Swettenham Arms. The arboretum is now run by the Tatton Garden Society, and it’s open to the public. All those who visit this quiet and beautiful place, with its wide shady avenues, leafy lanes and stunning views over the Dane Valley, have cause to thank Sir Bernard’s skill generosity and dedication in creating the 28-acre site and filling it with 800 species of trees and bushes.
With our long and close association with Sir Bernard, we’re delighted to welcome author John Bromley-Davenport to the Swettenham Arms. John will be signing copies of his book, Space Has No Frontier, a biography of Sir Bernard. The date for the signing is to be announced, please check back for more details.
John’s book, published by Bene Factum Publishing Ltd, will be released on 30th October, priced £20. Please click here to pre-order a copy.