Jodrell Bank dominates its local landscape but, as a group of 35 Loreto History students found out, it also had an influence over the delicate balance of the Cold War. Working with lecturers and student ambassadors from the University of Manchester, the critical ‘space race’ of the 1950s onwards was explored at this iconic site. Having been introduced to the differing perspectives of the USA and USSR by Dr Thomas Tunstall Allcock and Dr Rachel Platonov, it was over to the students themselves to discover the key role our venue had in this absorbing period.

As the students pored over a range of primary sources, they were informed that as the collection had only recently been completed by the University they were amongst the first people anywhere to view them. The opportunity to investigate and draw conclusions based on evidence seldom seen before was something that excited all involved. From previously seeing Jodrell Bank as purely a scientific site it became clear that it was mixed in with politics, power and the bitter rivalry between the superpowers. A part of the Cold War was played out just a short drive from college, leaving all students to reflect on how their study of History is always relevant.

A perfect start to the new unit of study and invaluable exposure to the skills and techniques used to study our subject at degree level!