Eddington remembered

Back in July, when aibhinn came over to stay, we went up to Kendal in the Lake District, which happens to be the home town of Sir Arthur Eddington. The highlight of the day was our visit to the beautiful Quaker Tapestry.

A real labour of love designed and worked by Quakers worldwide, the Tapestry is a vibrant and beautiful narrative of Quaker history, faith and activism in many different spheres, science included.

If you click on Panels and scroll down to D10, you’ll see a portrait of Eddington. The website is being redesigned and there don’t seem to be any larger images but I’ll try and get hold of one and scan it in if people are interested.

Another memory I treasure from that day – as we were waiting for a train at the tiny station with its single platform, Lissa pointed out five little brown rabbits on the grass verge just a couple of feet away from us. It was like something straight out of Beatrix Potter!

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5 thoughts on “Eddington remembered

  1. Ooh, yeah, I remember that as one of the highlights of the trip. Mom REALLY loved that book on the Tapestry–and Kendal was just lovely.
    And what could beat five little bunnies peacefully grazing not fifteen feet from us? Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, Peter, and Benjamin Bunny! 😀
    *sigh* I miss England……

  2. Did you manage to catch Einstein and Eddington on Saturday night on BBC2? I thought it was beautifully done, and it renewed my admiration for the Quakers’ principles of “speaking truth to power” and holding fast to unfashionable and unpopular beliefs. (As well as featuring a fine performance from DT – I thought of you!) (My review’s here

  3. I finally had time to watch E&E last night. I loved seeing DT in a more restrained role. He really throttled back the gestures but allowed the character to have space and shine through, and the smile at the very end was a glorious moment.
    Very touching how he was unable to explain his personal connection with the Battle of Ypres because of the conventions of the time – the love that dare not speak its name, etc.
    I do have great admiration for the Quakers, which comes partly from watching an uncle of mine, who is a Friend, selflessly care for a very demanding, demented and disabled wife when he is already in his eighties, and he still finds time to campaign actively for peace and other causes. A remarkable man.
    It was also a pleasure to watch with my husband, who’s a Cambridge man, even if he did pick holes in some of the location spotting.
    On a side note, I kept thinking that official residence of Eddington’s would be a nightmare to heat in a Fenland winter. Such huge rooms!
    BTW, if you’d like to read more of the history of the Quakers, particularly in the Lake District, it’s worth hunting out a wonderful novel called “Voyageurs” by Margaret Elphinstone, which follows a Quaker man’s epic journey to Canada in the early 19C in search of his vanished sister.

  4. That smile at the end was pure Tennant – and yes, it was great to be reminded of his range as an actor; it’s not all sparkling wit and running about!
    Resident Geek and I (both ex-Cambridge) also had fun trying to figure out the locations – I assume the library where Eddington got hold of Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper was meant to be the University Library, which wouldn’t have been in its current, 1930s building then, and which if memory serves was in a bit of the Old Schools. Still, at least that distracted RG from mutterings about simplifications of the theoretical physics! (for which much thanks, said I…)
    Heating? Pah. A bit of Fenland east wind straight from the Urals focuses the mind… 😉
    And thank you for the book rec, I shall keep an eye out for that!

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