Saturday, June 09, 2007

With Margaret Moore at the formal re-opening of the Downe Village Hall today.

The Hall was built by my great-grandfather Sir John William Lubbock FRS in 1850. An astronomer and mathematician, he lectured in the Village Hall on the discovery of the planet Neptune by his friend John Couch Adams in 1861. My grandfather Sir John Lubbock FRS also lectured frequently in the Village Hall starting in 1855 with a paper on the wire worm, and it was partly on the strength of his discoveries concerning this creature (don’t ask me!) that Darwin recommended him as a Fellow of the Royal Society, to which he was elected at the record early age of 24. He used the Village Hall as a test bed for his ideas on education and public libraries, as well as his scientific research, and it is agreeable to imagine him and his father before him discussing all these matters with the residents of Downe.

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