Search site



Obituary: Stanley Skilbeck

Members will be very sorry to learn of the death, on 12 July 2004, of Mr Stanley Skilbeck, former Senior Administrative Assistant in the School of Mathematics.

Born in 1924 and a graduate of the University of Durham, Mr Skilbeck taught mathematics and science at schools in Yorkshire and Tynemouth between 1951 and 1954 before joining the Overseas Civil Service. He spent over a decade in Northern Nigeria, where his varied career in teaching and educational administration included a period as Principal of Provincial Secondary Schools.

In October 1965, Mr Skilbeck took up a newly-established administrative post in the Department of Mathematics. He soon became noted for the excellence and extent of his work, which included responsibility for financial and estate matters, and the organisation of examinations and lectures. Mr Skilbeck was for many years central to the smooth and efficient running of Mathematics, appreciated both for his store of knowledge and his generous, helpful and willing temperament.

Writing in the University Review at the time of Mr Skilbecks retirement, Professor John Brindley noted that he had developed his own system of administration and record keeping, which successfully survived the multitude of pressures associated with a threefold expansion in the size of the Department and its concurrent evolution into a School, comprising the separate Departments of Applied Mathematical Studies, Pure Mathematics and Statistics. Through all this, and the splitting off of the Department of Computer Studies, the presence of Mr Skilbeck gave immense support to a succession of chairmen and to two directors of undergraduate studies. Required to maintain that mass of information necessary to a school of fifty to sixty academic staff dealing with up to 2000 students, and frequently called upon to produce details at short notice, Stanwas always willing to take on board any other problems, many of them far outside his own sphere of responsibility.

Mr Skilbeck took early retirement from his post in September 1983, after eighteen years service to the University. He is survived by his wife, Anne.

The funeral has taken place.

Published: 16 August 2004