Abingdon News No.51

The Abingdon Foundation, Park Road, Abingdon, Oxford OX14 1DE 01235 521563 • Edited by Jane Warne – communications@abingdon.org.uk 01235 849123 • Design – www.petergreenland.com Abingdon Out of the Past The 1950s Scien ce Block @abingdonschool @abingdonschool @abingdon_school Klaus Fuchs, once described as the most dangerous spy ‘in the history of nations’, lived at Lacies Court whilst passing top secret information about Britain’s atomic and nuclear research to his Soviet Russian contacts. A refugee from Hitler’s Germany, Fuchs was a theoretical physicist who played a significant role in the development of the atomic bomb. After the war, as Head of the Theoretical Physics Division at Harwell, Fuchs worked on Britain’s nuclear programme – all the time keeping the Soviets abreast of every development. Frank Close, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, who was himself once Head of the Theoretical Physics Division at Harwell, has written a biography of Fuchs, Trinity – The Treachery and Pursuit of the Most Dangerous Spy in History , published by Allan Lane on 1 August. It is likely to be the most detailed biography of the spy for years to come. After he consulted them in the National Archives a number of the Fuchs’ files have since been withdrawn. The Spy Who Lived at Lacies Court Lacies Court, although owned by the School, was a lodging house for Harwell scientists in the late 1940s. Fuchs – the Treachery and Pursuit of the Most Dangerous Spy in History Professor Frank Close Amey Theatre Wednesday 20 November 7.30 pm Open to all Admission free In 1909 Professor Gustav Mann donated a stuffed alligator and an armadillo skin to the school museum. These splendid items joined such disparate objects as a pistol carried by an OA in the Peninsular War, a large spider from Costa Rica, the skin of a rattlesnake, banknotes from the siege of Mafeking and a coin from the reign of Philip III of Macedon found in 1915 by an OA serving in Gallipoli. Established in 1906, the last gift to the museum is recorded in the May 1927 Abingdonian . The magazine thanks Mr Wiblin ‘for the nose of a German shell, which exploded in the ground within twelve yards of him’. The Mafeking siege note seems to be the sole survivor of this magnificent collection. A Stuffed Alligator and Other Objects Mowing the cricket pitch in 1891, the year the School bought its first ‘mowing machine’. Before this the grass was kept down by scything and by sheep. Then and Now Mowing the cricket pitch in 2019 Mafeking siege note