As a young child, I was fascinated by the Apollo moon missions. I knew all the planets’ names. I had an Airfix Saturn V rocket in my bedroom (only slightly damaged). It was only a matter of time before we went to see Jodrell Bank radio telescope in Cheshire.
It’s so huge, you can see it from the motorway. It was the biggest of its kind when it was built in the 1950s, to track Russia’s Sputnik, and pioneer radio astronomy. My excitement was somewhat diminished by the man in the entrance booth, admiring my blonde hair and asking “what’s the young girl’s name?”
In high school, my interest in space led to a hobby in Astronomy. A small cheapo telescope led to an ambitious home-built behemoth, which was so big it eventually needed a wooden house of its own. Thanks to my dad, it was built like a tank, and was just as easy to carry.
A couple of years later, I’d seen every astronomical landmark of worth you could see from a built-up urban location, several times over, no thanks to the sodium glare and challenging North West weather. So, I decided that the next stage would be to photograph it all, and I acquired a cheap SLR.
The interest in astronomy faded. We sold the telescope for a pittance to a jammy bloke in Cheshire. I used the money to buy an electric guitar (which I still have), grew my hair even more like a girl’s, and formed a band.