Friends of the RAS only Lecture: Space Has No Frontier

Start Date
End Date

FRIENDS LECTURE: Thursday 28 November 2013, 13:00-14:00 in the RAS Lecture Theatre

Space Has No Frontier

Mr John Bromley-Davenport


Bernard Lovell is one of the great un-sung heroes of the 20th century, a true pioneer of physics and astronomy. He is well known as a brilliant mind and the founder of the Jodrell Bank Observatory and Lovell telescope.


What is less well-known about this modern Renaissance man is the full extent of his work during the Second World War and more particularly during the Cold War. His work with radar during WW2 focused on the development of centimetre radar, of H2S (blind navigation radar) and ASV (air to surface vessel) radar. The first was used by RAF bombers while the development of ASV was vital to the fight against German U-Boats in the Bay of Biscay.


Jodrell Bank, of which Lovell was Director, was the frontline of defence monitoring the potential threat of Soviet missiles at the height of the Cold War and during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Following his 1963 trip to Russia, where he visited the top secret Soviet space tracking station, Deep Space Network, Lovell was debriefed extensively by the British security services. The classified file of this debrief was only made available following his death, when the information could be of no threat to his safety.


The book explores Lovell’s contributions to his fields of excellence but is more than just a story of his life. Space Has No Frontier also shows how Bernard Lovell was a family man, a gifted musician, gardener and dendrologist, and a keen cricketer. He died in August 2012, one year before his 100th birthday.


John Bromley-Davenport QC is a successful barrister, actor and public speaker. Alongside his legal career he has become well known on both sides of the Atlantic for his solo adaptions of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat, both of which have been met with ongoing media acclaim over three decades. He has also contributed and published articles in various mainstream print publications, including The Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.


The talk will be followed by a wine reception in the Library with discussion and a book signing.