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From radar to meteors - author takes a closer look at Sir Bernard's life
A BIOGRAPHY documenting the fascinating life of Sir Bernard Lovell, a great astronomer and leader of the team who built Jodrell Bank telescope, will be published next month.
Sir Bernard’s varied life stretched from wartime work developing short-wave radars that were vital in defeating the U-boat threat in 1943 to becoming president of Lancashire County Cricket Club in the 90s.
Author John Bromley-Davenport’s Space Has No Frontier: The terrestrial life and times of Sir Bernard Lovell explains the work of his friend and great all-rounder and is available from November 5.
“I knew Bernard for many years as he was a great friend of my parents,” he said.
“One of his great strengths was his ability to share things with people, and when he first opened Jodrell Bank to members of the public he was overwhelmed by the number of visitors.
“Two years ago they built the new visitor centre and it was probably Bernard’s last visit to Jodrell Bank – that’s how I open the book, with him being taken around in his wheelchair.”
A musician who was passionate about cricket, a husband of 50 years and a father of five, Mr Bromley-Davenport explores the interesting life behind Sir Bernard.
“I was particularly interested in Bernard as a man,” he added.
“He was a great all-rounder and an extraordinarily talented man in many ways, and when he got interested in something he really got absorbed in it.
“He was a physicist but entered astronomy through his interest in the radar, particularly in the war against U-boats.
“His work was extremely important in defeating the German U-boats, that took him on to cosmic rays in the atmosphere, but instead he discovered meteors and meteor showers.
“He played the organ and piano, was a cricket enthusiast and collected trees and shrubs from all over the world – he planted many rare species at Jodrell Bank.”
As a barrister Mr Bromley-Davenport enjoyed researching a very different field of work.
“It’s not a scientific tome as I’m by no means an expert,” he said.
“I’ve had to try and understand as a layman and it’s been fascinating – I’ve learned a lot.
“I started working on an article for the Telegraph’s scientific pages in August 2011 and decided to develop it from there.
“It’s been very interesting and I’ve enjoyed it greatly.”
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