Geoff Stone, one of the longest serving members of staff at the University, will be retiring on the 16th of May after 36 years service.
Geoff joined the University Estates Office in 1966 as its first Maintenance Electrician, just two years after the first small group of students arrived in 1964. Now an Electrical Superintendent, Geoff is one of the few people who has seen the University grow from a small collection of buildings in the midst of farmland to the large campus we have today.
Geoff recalls the early days on campus: "When I started the Gibbet Hill site consisted of one set of buildings occupied by Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, the Dining room and Humanities. The Library was in the process of moving onto the central campus and Rootes Social Hall had just opened, but you had to walk on planks to enter it. There was mud everywhere."
In 1966 there were only 5 members of staff in the office. Now there are over 50. According to Geoff in the early days the only means of transport was one Land Rover shared between 15 drivers and you had to cross a farm to get to parts of the main campus.
As part of the Estates Office Geoff was often witness to some of the more creative efforts of the student body. "An event which caused a stir was when the students wrote the story of Winnie the Pooh in black paint on the pavement from Gibbet Hill towards Rootes on the intersite path. Another group stenciled a horse and rider on the wall of the Sports Centre and a clever group placed giant footprints down the face of the Science "B" block above the porters lodge without the night security patrols seeing them."
After retiring Geoff will be spending time in the garden and getting to grips with digital photography. He wishes all his friends and collegues over the years a fond farewell.