Train journeys at ungodly hours

The Golden Age is before us, not behind us

Sallust 

First of all, a huge “thank you” to my supervisor for these past, nearly four, years, Professor David Collison, for his unflagging support and advice of one sort and another. Hopefully all those train journeys at ungodly hours paid off.

Also, thanks to Mark Whiteley, one of the nicest and most helpful people imaginable, who supervised my 3rd-year and MChem projects, for setting me off on further roads, and to both Emma and Hannah for their good influence then and since.

To Professors Eric McInnes and Richard Winpenny for advice and inspiration. Sorry this took so long Richard, it wasn’t deliberate, honest!

To Iain May for what seems to have been a career defining chat a long, long time ago…

In the Magnets Group and beyond, thanks to Floriana Tuna for her expertise with EPR and SQUID. To Stephen Sproules for help with EPR and being so knowledgeable about almost everything, danke sehr. Thanks to Asad for everything over the past eight (help!) years. Won’t forget seeing England keep The Ashes at Old Trafford, rain and all. To Eufemio, Panama’s greatest scientist! One day, maybe, I’ll get there… Thanks to Luke and Tom for being magnets-heroes to worship. To all those past and present members who’ve offered up some help or advice, you’re all wonderful. A special thanks to those who had to endure my tortuous writing up and for their (unwitting or otherwise) support through it, especially James, Sam and Claire.

For the newer Magnets Group members at Manchester and those venturing abroad (Scotland), best wishes! Keep your enthusiasm if possible. And good luck to all MChem students who passed through my orbit. I noticed not many of you stuck with chemistry though… To the latest project students Tom (Prodigy) and Hatty, I hope you get what you want!

Even more recently I made the geographically short move to the National EPR Service. I’m so grateful to know the wonderful people Chloe, Simon and Dan who haunt the Alan Turing Building. Thanks for keeping me at least slightly sane whilst figuring things out over there!

To my brothers John and Ben: Hurrah, made it this far! Thanks for all the things that have made this more bearable. Maybe all those weird side-projects can get done now… rockets, weather balloons, rail-guns, prog-rock albums??? So much to catch up with…

Lastly, thanks to my parents for all the moral support and the amazing chances they’ve given me over the years (not to mention living in the same house as me and John for the past few years in particular).

Contributor: Joseph Sharples

Source: Sharples, J (2013) Cooling Rapidly and Relaxing Slowly with 4f Ions, PhD, University of Manchester

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Princess Nisa, you really are a little princess (and now it’s written in the Trinity College Library, so it must be true!)

Kenneth Henry – thanks for being a great supervisor and a good sport. Andrew ‘brain the size of a planet’ Lloyd, my mentor – Thank You For Sharing. None of it would have been the same if I wasn’t in such a positive, encouraging environment with the rest of the Wolfe Cubs. Karsten working side-by-side with you for the stuff of Chapter 4 was a great experience. I hope all my future collaborations are as fruitful and good-natured. Cathal and Lucy, the predecessors, thanks for showing me that it can be done (and how to do it!). Avril, thanks for always being willing to direct your insightful intellect towards my problems. Simon thanks for your willingness to help with anything. All of you, and the new folks, Antoinette, Kevin, and Sean, thanks for being so understanding and helpful while I’ve been writing up. Thanks also to Denis Shields for the suggestion of the block overlap simulations in Chapter 4, and all the members of the Tuesday lunchtime group for helpful comments over the years.

My family and friends deserve special thanks for supporting me in various ways. Mum – thanks for Friday lunchtimes in Dunnes & Crescenzi’s and ‘Friday Presents’. Dad – the running total is 2135 Brownie Points, a few more and you’ll have enough for a toaster. Emer – those cinema outings helped me stay relaxed, thanks. Wendy, my adopted Scottish sister and bestest friend – thanks for always dropping everything at a moment’s notice and making everything so much fun. Thanks to Gianluca for lots of emotional support and for help with footnotes and other LATEX oddities. Thanks to my ‘roomies’, Lisa and Emma Jane, for being great pals. Princess Nisa, you really are a little princess (and now it’s written in the Trinity College Library, so it must be true!). The girls on the rugby team definitely helped me keep my sanity by allowing me to vent my frustrations by tipping them upside-down in the mud of College Park … thanks!

Contributor: @aoifemcl

Source: PhD, Trinity College Dublin – for more on Aoife’s work

…my Sheffield posse who bore the brunt of my tortured author shtick but never stopped believing that I could do it

Jawbone Press have been brilliant to deal with and extremely patient.  Thomas Jerome Seabrook, my editor, was a huge source of support throughout the process and it’s safe to say I couldn’t have done it without him.  Jon Mills, Mark Brend, Nigel Osborne and Kevin Becketti should also be singled out for their belief in the project and hard work on its behalf.

Hearty thanks go to each of my interviewees.  The time I spent conducting the interviews was one of the most fantastic periods of my life; everyone was so honest and warm, generous both in spirit and the time they took to share their experiences.

Some went even further.  It’s always an especial privilege to be invited into someone’s home, and for that I thank Ian A. Anderson, Vashti Bunyan, Shirley Collins, David Costa, Bonnie Dobson, Sonja Kristina, Clive Palmer, Serafina Steer and David Tibet.  Moreover, Bonnie gave me some scrumptious homemade jam and David generously filled in the empty spots in my Current 93 collection; my continued friendship with both Bonnie and David has been a joy.  Jennifer Lewis and Angela Strange insisted on buying lunch for me in Oxford; Sam Genders wouldn’t let me pick up the tab in a South London café.  Andy Cabic, Alasdair Roberts and The Kittiwakes were not only kind enough to take the time at a gig to speak to me, but so thoughtful that each put me on a guest list too.  David John Sheppard offered me sage words of advice, not least “this will take over your life, you know”. Steven Collins cheered me up after I found out I’d been pickpocketed and lent me £20 to get home.  Sharron Kraus, Ellen Mary McGee, Phil McMullen, Michael Tanner, Emma Tricca and Jane Weaver all gave their amazing warmth and friendship to me as well as enormous practical assistance.

I was beyond thrilled when Greg Weeks, whose music I had admired for years, agreed to write the foreword for this book.  Moreover, his ongoing support for the project, right from the first time we made contact, was an early motivating factor for me.

Some of my interviewees I have not yet met in person, having spoken via the wonders of modern technology, but I feel as if I have thanks to their unwavering and continued enthusiasm.  To Kelli Ali, Margaret Ayre, Joshua Burkett, Judy Dyble, Mark Fry, Dan Ireton, Alison O’Donnell, Prydwyn, Timothy Renner, Clodagh Simonds, Jeff Tarlton and all the fine members of United Bible Studies: your encouragement has meant the world and I really hope, one day, we shall chinwag in person.

I also wish to pay tribute to three people who sadly passed away during the writing of this book.  Mike Evans of Mighty Baby, an early interviewee; Jack Rose, who I did not get to interview before his passing, to my eternal regret; and Tony Dale of Camera Obscura records.  Tony offered moral support, humour and friendship as well as his considerable insight and knowledge, and I miss our chats more than I can say.

So much support came in to me.  The staff at Research in Practice in Sheffield; the diligent posters of the Very Good Plus message board; Shindig! magazine, especially Andy Morten, Marco Rossi and Richard S Jones; the Abaton Book Company; and Jeffrey Lewis, for kindly agreeing the use of his lyrics in this book.  Others passed on knowledge and contacts: Richard Allen, Alissa Anderson, Lauren Barley, John Byrne, Mike Cole, Geoff Dolman, Brendan Foreman, Will Hodgkinson, Mark Jones, Douglas McGowan, Mark Morris, Richard Morton Jack, Walter Nowicki, Ernesto de Pascale, Raül of Wah Wah Records, David Shook, Maximillian Spiegal, Malcolm Taylor, Pat Thomas, Kris Thompson, Martin Val Baker, Gerald van Waes, Andy Votel, Jason Weiss, David Wells, Roger Williamson – thanks for being so accommodating and just all-around good eggs.

My family have been a rock for me throughout the years.  I give thanks to all my aunts and uncles, to all my cousins, and especially to my Aunt Sheila, my Aunt Gladys and my cousin Paul, who have seen me through some very difficult (and some very happy) times.

To friends: there’s my Sheffield posse who bore the brunt of my tortured author shtick but never stopped believing that I could do it (and had a unnerving instinct about when I needed to go to the pub).  Thank you Keith Archer, Katherine Bishop, Matthew Clark, Ian Cracknell, Andy George, Anita Hollinshead, Naomi Lewis, Barry and Kris McKeown, Debbie Rawlings, Gary Whittles – and especially Tim Hollinshead, Niklas Thoren and Noshee Zameer, three of the most marvellous and supportive people anyone could hope to call friend.

Nearest and dearest, far and wide, offered sofas to sleep on, an ear to be bent and just their wonderful companionship: Suzanne Bird (and my Godsons Elliot and Gabriel), Rupert Cook, Stephen Drennan, Tracey England, Stuart Evers, Alex and Helen Farebrother-Naylor, George Julian, Lizzie Lidster, Craig Mills, Alix and Malcolm McKenzie, Jude Rogers, Oliver Shepherd, the Tucker family and, above all, my soul sister Kathryn Cook.

To Simon Tucker: thanks for everything.

I dedicate this book to my mum and my dad, whom I miss every day.

Contributor: @Jeanette Leech

Source: Leech, J (2010) Seasons they change: the story of acid and psychedelic folk, Jawbone. Book facebook page here and twitter account @seasonsthechge