Sepia Astronomers

When cleaning out an office here in the Astrophysics Group in the Physics Department at Imperial College, we came across this photo:
Sepia astronomers
The background is the Mark I telescope at Jodrell Bank, and the man in the middle with the notebook has been identified as either Fred Hoyle or Francis Graham-Smith (which is more likely now that I look at it — thanks, Peter!). Do my astronomy colleagues (or anyone else) have any more information?

3 responses to “Sepia Astronomers”

  1. Mike Peel avatar

    The background is definitely Jodrell Bank – the Mark I telescope, this is before the the bicycle wheel support was redone, which means this photo is pre 1970.
    If you have a higher resolution picture, then I can pass it around the senior academics here and see whether they recognize any faces.

  2. Gustav avatar

    I like the dresscode! Not at all like the astronomers I meet these days …

  3. Chris Salter avatar

    Hi Andrew, As a student at Jodrell Bank between 1965 and 70, I can be absolutely sure that the “man in the middle with the notebook” is indeed Prof. F. Graham Smith; (I should be sure, as Graham was my doctoral supervisor.) The young man over his left shoulder, with the beard, I believe to be Ralph Spencer. Ralph joined Jodrell in 1966, so this picture would have had to be post-66, but as Mike Peel notes, pre-1970 when the Mk-1 was upgraded to the Mk-1A. Many of the other folks look a bit familiar, but I can’t put names to them, and don’t think that many were Jodrell staff. Must have been a visiting group.
    The place where the photo was taken is outside the back door of the main observatory building, where we used to drink tea/coffee on sunny days. But then every day was summer back then. 🙂
    Indeed, Gustav, we were all a lot more respectable in those days (at least in dress). I’m currently sitting in Arecibo Observatory as I type this, clad in T-shirt, shorts, and sandals. Mind you, sports jackets and flannels would be a bit over-dressed in the heat of a tropical summer day!
    Were there any more photos with this one, Andrew?