Archive for October, 2009

Foxearth History Society – Jodrell Bank

Learning about Grade 1 listed buildings is nothing new to the Foxearth and District Local History but when the structure in question is less than 60 years old then that must be something exceptional. Tony Dagnall’s talk to 16 members on Tuesday, 13th October was a fascinating exposition of the life of Sir Bernard Lovell and the story of his tremendous work in designing and building the world’s first radio telescope at Jodrell Bank. A physicist himself who worked at Jodrell Bank, Tony described Lovell’s early interest in science by making crystal radio sets as a boy. A “first” at university was followed by a doctorate and employment at the University of Manchester. During the war Dr Lovell did pioneering research on radar which led to a submarine detection system which dramatically changed the course of the war and undoubtedly saved Britain. A return to Manchester afterwards involved him in magnetron work which greatly increased radar range and which sowed in his mind the idea of surveying the universe by radio waves. It is a measure of the man’s sheer determination, hard work and influence that with the help of his wife and two students he physically built the first telescope with his own hands – and that included digging out an access road to the site, “clean” of electrical disturbance, that he selected at Jodrell! His next idea was to have a completely steerable scope with which to survey any part of the sky but only a chance meeting, in the University bar, with an engineer called Husband gave rise to a design which had defeated all others approached. Debts mounted but a generous donation from Lord Nuffield – who said that such success must be rewarded – and the use of the facility by the USA ,who at that time wanted to keep an eye on Russian space exploration, helped.

Tony expertly fielded a number of questions and was warmly thanked by Chairman, Alan Fitch for his interesting contribution to the evening.

The Chairman reported that the Society had been awarded a grant of £300 for educational purposes by the Foxearth School and Church Foundation and the thought was that this would be used to fund visits to the Essex Records Office and possibly elsewhere to research perhaps Foxearth manors, absentee landlords, buildings no longer standing etc. Suggestions from members would be appreciated.

Next meeting: Tuesday, 10th November at 8pm in Foxearth Village Hall when Ann Grimshaw will give a talk entitled “In my grandfather’s footsteps ” which is about the First World War. Given the closeness of the date of the meeting to Armistice Day, it seems an entirely suitable subject.

Ken Nice



(in aid of Foxearth Church)

Saturday 31st October 2009

10:00 to 12:00am

At Foxearth Village Hall

Cakes, Books, Raffle

Come and soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the company of friends, neighbours and other residents

All Welcome – Admission is Free

Harvest Supper – October 2009

harvest-supper-2009-001 On a very wet evening, 70+ residents made their way to the Village Hall for this years Foxearth Harvest Supper. Now an established event, the tickets sold out almost two weeks before the date. Once inside candle lit tables welcomed everybody in from the cold and within minutes the bar was doing a good trade. After about half an hours socialising, all took their places ready for their meals.

As usual, the standard of the supper was very high with Pat James, Val Hastie and Mary Waite serving up a choice of courses, harvest-supper-2009-0141followed by even more choices for sweet then followed again by cheese to be enjoyed with a slice or two of Pats famous home made bread.

Between courses we had a novel food quiz presented by Derek Smith and throughout the evening Derek Hall entertained us on the keyboard.

After all that, it was time for the raffle and the relaxing and having a good time as can be seen:- harvest-supper-2009-025

But didn’t she deserve it!

Thanks must go out to all who helped in some way or other to make the evening such a success. A special thank you to Lauren, Holly and Jay for all their work in clearing tables and helping with the raffle.

Your attendance and generosity helped raise £650 for the Church funds. You can see more photographs in the Gallery.

See you next year.