Lecture 2: The Secret History of Grubb Parsons

About this event :

Image c/o: Durham University Physics Department..

Photographs of the Grubb-Parsons Works

Images c/o: BBC News.

David Kidds’ talk will outline the secret history of Grubb-Parsons that deals with the Company’s work during and after World War 2 (WW2) on a variety of projects including:

  • Supersonic aircraft,
  • Radar,
  • The British nuclear programme,
  • Their design for a space telescope.


The David Dunlap telescope was used by astronomer Helen Sawyer Hogg to discover thousands of variable stars, allowing the distance of galaxies to be measured accurately thus enabling the true scale of the universe to be established for the first time. 

When What Where

  • Date:  Sunday 15th April 2018,
  • Time: 7pm.
  • Speaker: David Kidd (Local Astronomy History Educator).
  • Venue: Will take place at the Cygnus Observatory (WWC Discovery Room).

Our speaker

Our speaker is David Kidd, is  a retired maths teacher and amateur astronomer.

David first came across Grubb Parsons in the 1960s when, as a member of South Shields Astronomical Society, he visited the works.

David spent the last part of his working life in Africa and started researching the history of Grubbs when he was contacted by a group of local historians in South Africa interested in the telescopes in Pretoria and Johannesburg built by the company.

Background Information: Other External Links:


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Your host : Martin Kennedy