back to article Jodrell Bank goes full UNESCO while Dundee awaits the decomissioners

There was good news and bad news for UK space boffinry this weekend: Jodrell Bank Observatory was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, while the more humble Dundee Satellite Receiving Station stood at the edge of oblivion. For Cheshire-based Jodrell Bank, home of the famous Lovell Telescope, the award is recognition of the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Facilities such as this are not just ..." -- Put /that/ on the side of a bus

    Whilst I agree bus drivers are no doubt under appreciated, just maybe, ... perhaps ... oh, never mind. :-)

    1. Spherical Cow

      Re: "Facilities such as this are not just ..." -- Put /that/ on the side of a bus

      On the side of a CubeSat bus?

  2. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    well of COURSE they would save and protect Jodrell Bank

    After all, the Doctor saved us all from entropy and then regenerated there*

    * well... there-ish.

    1. Cessquill

      Re: well of COURSE they would save and protect Jodrell Bank

      That and the cockney rhyming slang industry, obviously.

      I don't want to find myself explaining to whippersnappers what "having a Jodrell" means twenty years from now.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: well of COURSE they would save and protect Jodrell Bank

        To be fair (and leaving aside the reg's love for dear old Dundee) this telescope, and the institute behind it, did a bit more unique science than a receiving station downloading copies of data from somebody else's satellite.

  3. Martin Summers

    How about El Reg you head up a crowdfunding page for the Dundee station (if there isn't already one). If we manage to raise the money between us all it could be renamed in honour of Lester Haines and the special projects Bureau. Maybe someone better at acronyms than me could suggest one for it consisting of LESTER? I know Extraterrestrial and Research could fit in there somewhere!

    Worth a try? Nothing to lose? If there's more than 383,000 readers and we all gave a quid it could work.

    By the way, I wouldn't suggest anyone else but The Register set this up unless they have a bone fide connection with the station.

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Worth a try? Nothing to lose? If there's more than 383,000 readers and we all gave a quid it could work.

      Definitely nothing to lose. Based on earlier article, it does appear though almost like the Uni wants to close it and the money is just an excuse so could be interesting what happens if one was to wave a cheque for £383k.

      1. MrBanana Silver badge

        I agree that the University probably see it as an encumberment they would rather not deal with. But £383,000 isn't a huge amount of money to set as an all or nothing requirement. It's doable with the right promotion of a crowd sourcing effort, and some big name sponsorship. But I suspect the problem will be that they will say, "OK that will save it for the next 12 months, what happens after that?".

      2. oiseau Silver badge

        ... the money is just an excuse ...

        I'm sure as hell that there's something else going on here besides the lack of money for funding operations, the stalling and digging in no matter what is a clear sign.

        Like I said once before:


        It's an utter disgrace that Dundee University seems to be involved in something with this lack of transparency, there was a time when this sort of thing was unthinkable.



    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: crowdfunding

      There is a page already but progress looks slow:

      Still, might help with salvaging something from 40+ years of history.

      1. Gothmog

        Re: crowdfunding

        Well, I just donated. Would like to think the publicity from El Reg might lead to a spike in donations...

        1. Intractable Potsherd

          Re: crowdfunding


      2. Martin Summers

        Re: crowdfunding

        I thought there might be a page. It's for substantially less than the cost of keeping it open. I would like to know whether they would actually keep the place open or not if enough was raised before I donated. I wouldn't want the University appropriating the funds raised for something else either.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: crowdfunding

          The original goal was to raise enough to run for 1-2 years and upgrade things, but it turned out to be a rather optimistic stance by the folk behind it. For now the goal is simply to have enough outside of university coffers to start operations at another site, given the University's irrational aversion to all things satellite-based. Beyond that it would depend on other income sources coming on-line which one can only hope do materialise for them.

          AC for obvious reasons!

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "How about El Reg you head up a crowdfunding page for the Dundee station "

      Or send an email to the ex-Mrs Bezos.

  4. werdsmith Silver badge

    the skill, experience, understanding and more importantly, the philosophy and dedication to the job, the science and to service to the community that is irreplaceable and once lost, can never be restored.

    Applies to so many other things too. Short-termist politicians and bean counters just don't get it.

    1. TVU

      "Applies to so many other things too. Short-termist politicians and bean counters just don't get it"

      ^ They never do but the same third rate politicians have no trouble finding money for political projects such as the £ tens of millions that have been wasted on the Ramsgate port fiasco.

  5. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Maggie Tse Tung Said

    These are tough times for us all, there can be no free riders, the market must prevail, sacrifices must be made, we are all in this together, one day the benefits will be seen, there will be light at the end of the tunnel, we cannot afford to be weak, everything must pay their way, an honest day's work for an honest day's pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police, victory will belong only to those who have faith in the people, keep right on to the end of the road, the weak must perish from the face of the earth, a better tomorrow, there is no room for slackers, he who does not work neither shall he eat, change must come.

    1. Dabooka

      Re: Maggie Tse Tung Said



  6. mantavani

    Car park

    The cafe at Jodrell does a pretty good breakfast, and the radio quiet zone is an excellent excuse to turn the phone off for a bit. Won’t be stopping by quite so often since they introduced the £4 parking charge on top of the entry fee though, which made my last visit there a bit on the steep side (in fairness also because I can never resist a bit of space tat from the shop). The car in front of me turned around at the gate (there is no warning prior to this). The lady on the front desk was very apologetic and explained it was the only way to get match funding out of the University. Seems like Dundee aren’t the only ones full of it.

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Car park

      Unfortunately I haven't had an opportunity to visit the telescope so far, perhaps this autumn when we'll be in the area. There's actually an artist who has done some interesting etchings of it (and sound mirrors, etc.):

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Car park

      Sadly your right... pretty standard behaviour nowadays for any University to extract as much cash from everyone as possible - whether your a student, guest, staff member, research project or other. They have no interest in the bigger picture or other benefits - until said cash is in the bank.

      The VC's usually do rather well from it all though.

      Also annoyingly... not really many options to avoid using it - as you'd expect, it's in the middle of nowhere.

    3. paulf

      Re: Car park

      I found a similar story at a partly related attraction, The Telegraph Museum at the former C&W site in Porthcurno, Cornwall.

      This was back in 2012 when, at a loose end in the area, we decided to see what was happening and perhaps get some food in their cafe as the weather was somewhat gloomy. The car park was a fiver before you'd even got to the building with no rebate on entry so, assuming an entry cost of around £10 each, I got back in the car and we went somewhere else.

      The current story is £6.50 for parking (!!!) and you get a £2.50 refund if you spend at least £5 on entry fees but that's still ouch. I can understand them wanting to stop people parking for free then going elsewhere, and also wanting to encourage people not to drive but it all seems a bit punitive especially as the distant west of Cornwall isn't the best served area bus wise.

  7. Winkypop Silver badge

    £4 parking fee

    Steep, yes. But the facility is well worth it. I originally went for the Dr Who reference and stayed for the amazing science.

    1. mantavani

      Re: £4 parking fee

      There is a balance to be struck. The parking charge in particular just seems punitive and cynical. I love Jodrell, to the extent that one day I'd like to volunteer there. I don't pine for the days when you could walk right up to the dish without paying a penny - the science engagement is much needed and my girls (4 and 7) enjoy the place too. But at the end of the day, bar the Lovell itself, there isn't much to do there beyond soaking up the atmosphere. I can't justify £72 for an annual pass, and as it's now over £30 if we just feel like going for a picnic our visits will sadly be fewer and farther between.

  8. lukewarmdog
    Paris Hilton


    Anybody else been to the bluedot festival at Jodrell?

    Must be making them a few bob which hopefully is going to keeping the place and the festival going for a few more years.

    Also went to several of the one day concerts they held here before they went full festival.

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