Honours for Nobel winners

Relatives of Todmorden's two Nobel Prize winners, Sir John Cockcroft - physics - and Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson - chemistry, attending the new exhibition of honor boards from where the men went to school.'Todmorden Library.'Pictured from left are Susan Cockroft, Peter Cockcroft, coun Craig Whitaker, Janet Rhodes, Janet Rhodes, coun Olwen Jennings, coun Dorothy Jordan, mayor Margareta Holmstedt, Beatrice Haigh, Pamela Wilkinson, John Wilkinson and Christine Cockroft-Coping
Relatives of Todmorden's two Nobel Prize winners, Sir John Cockcroft - physics - and Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson - chemistry, attending the new exhibition of honor boards from where the men went to school.'Todmorden Library.'Pictured from left are Susan Cockroft, Peter Cockcroft, coun Craig Whitaker, Janet Rhodes, Janet Rhodes, coun Olwen Jennings, coun Dorothy Jordan, mayor Margareta Holmstedt, Beatrice Haigh, Pamela Wilkinson, John Wilkinson and Christine Cockroft-Coping

SCHOOL honour boards featuring two Nobel Prize winners have gone on display.

Sir John Cockcroft and Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson both attended Todmorden Grammar School before going on to pick up the Nobel Prize for physics and chemistry respectively.

The roll of honour boards from Todmorden Grammar School featuring the two scientists were found in storage by staff at Ferney Lee Primary School.

Relatives and dignatories turned out at Todmorden Library to see the plaques officially unveiled.

Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson picked up his Nobel Prize in 1973 for pioneering work on the chemistry of the organometallic compounds.

His younger brother John Wilkinson, 84, who is a university lecturer in chemistry, was at the ceremony and also attended the school.

“The school was brilliant,” he said.

“The boards used to be on the bottom corridor as a stimulation for the students.

“Geoff worked alongside Sir John Cockcroft for while in Canada when the government set up an atomic programme.”

Sir John Cockcroft was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1951 for his work in splitting the atom.

His nephew, Peter Cockcroft, 74, said: “My father was his youngest brother. Much of what he achieved was down to the old physics master at the school, Luke Sutcliffe.

“He taught both my uncle and Geoffrey Wilkinson so he certainly played a part in inspiring them both to the great things they achieved.”

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker said: “This started when I gave a speech as a candidate and three students came up to me and said these honours boards were mothballing.

“It took two years to get them here but I think the boards are in the right place now.”

Mr Whittaker said the boards should be an inspiration for children to achieve great things in the town.

“Todmorden has more Nobel Prize winners than 47 other countries, not towns,” he said.