Divining passion

The reactor pioneers of the 1940s and 1950s were, above all, practical. They politicked, they campaigned, but few of them could be said to display overt passion. Sometimes I had to divine their emotions from ephemera.

In October 1956, just before the grand royal launch of Calder Hall, Christopher Hinton sent Mrs. Marr of Durdar, Carlisle a photograph of the plant as a memento, writing: “As you say, the work was hard and conditions were often unpleasant, but in spite of this our combined efforts have got the job finished ahead of the planned date, and have given Britain the world’s first industrial atomic power station.” Feel the pride!

Hinton letter


Hinton, Christopher. 1956. Hinton to Marr, Oct. 9, 1956. AB 19/21. National Archives, Kew, United Kingdom.