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Britons share touching memories of Apollo 11 moon landing

Britons share touching memories of Apollo 11 moon landing

1 months ago

Britons share touching memories of Apollo 11 moon landing

1 months ago


Members of the public have shared their personal memories of the Apollo 11 moon landings, as the world marks 50 years since the remarkable feat.

Britons have revealed touching stories, from a woman in labour who delayed going to hospital, to a man who proposed as they tuned into coverage of the landing.

“At the moment of landing I actually pulled the car up to listen to the radio,” Bill Kerney, who popped the question to Jane on July 20, 1969, the night astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin arrived at the moon.

Memories of Richard Harrington
Memories of Richard Harrington (UK Space Agency/Arts and Humanities Research Council/PA)

“My now-husband must have been moon struck on that night to do what he did,” Mrs Kerney recalled to PA.

“We were going from Birmingham New Street station to south Birmingham where I was living and we were listening on the radio to everything that was going on and then when we got to my bedsitter, a certain romantic person got down on one knee and proposed.”

The couple have been married for 48 years and went on to rename their boat Apollo 11 in memory of the big occasion.

Bill and Jane Kerney
Bill Kerney proposed to Jane on July 20, 1969 and renamed their boat Apollo 11 (UK Space Agency/Arts and Humanities Research Council/PA)

Hundreds of people from across the country submitted everything from memories, to newspaper cuttings, photos and ways Apollo 11 inspired their lives, as part of a digital scrapbook, curated by the UK Space Agency and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

“Thank you to all those who took part in the Moon Landing Memories campaign,” said British astronaut Tim Peake.

“The Apollo 11 lunar landing was humanity’s most audacious mission and our greatest achievement.

“It is no surprise that for those who watched it live, and for those who were born into a world where humans had already walked on the moon, it remains a source of inspiration and wonder.

“As we reflect on past achievements and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, we must also look to the future as we embark on a new era of space exploration to the moon, Mars and beyond.”

Susan Towns
Susan Towns watched the landing (UK Space Agency/Arts and Humanities Research Council/PA)

Fifty of the submissions will be put into the digital scrapbook, with a selection also going on display at the National Space Centre in Leicester.

“These memories of the first moon landing bring to life the magic of that iconic moment,” said Science Minister Chris Skidmore.

“They clearly show why some of the children who watched live in 1969 were inspired to become the engineers and scientists that are now building our thriving space industry in the UK.

“To retain our status as one of the world leaders in the new space age, we need the next generation to follow in their footsteps and our modern Industrial Strategy is backing the industry to create these highly skilled, well-paid space jobs for the future.”


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