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Mrs Marjorie Westwood

As, sadly, many members will be aware, Mrs Marjorie Westwood, former Administrator in the Department of Physics, died on 8 December 2012.

Mrs Westwood, who would have been 100 in a few months’ time, was educated at West Leeds High School and then studied at Pitman’s Commercial College. In 1930, she joined Mammatt, White and Kay, a mining and civil engineering firm based in Leeds, as a shorthand typist. She later married one of the partners in the firm and, after the death of her husband in 1947, continued to work as secretary for the firm’s new owner.  In 1949, whilst still employed part-time with Mammatt, White and Kay, she also took up a part-time clerical post in the Department of Physics. Three years later, with the firm on the brink of closure, her appointment in Physics was made full-time.

From the outset, Mrs Westwood established herself as a highly capable and efficient member of staff. Enjoying the full confidence of each of the heads of department with whom she served, she was promoted on several occasions and was an influential and well-informed presence within the department. She was responsible for an extensive range of administrative duties, including examination matters, research student applications, committee servicing, hospitality and supervision of the departmental office.  A strong personality, she always had the best interests of the department at heart.  She was unfailing in her sympathetic understanding and practical help for anyone, student, member of staff or visitor, who was having problems as a result of illness or other misfortune. She also went out of her way to assist those new to the department to settle into their new surroundings, and was particularly active and enterprising in finding accommodation for visiting research staff and students from overseas.

A car enthusiast, Mrs Westwood for many years drove a ‘bug-eyed’ Austin Healey Sprite which, with its distinctive number plate, was well-known on the campus. She eventually gave up driving at the age of ninety-one.

Mrs Westwood retired in 1978.  Her interest in the University remained undiminished and long into retirement she continued to receive the University Reporter, avidly devouring each issue.

Mrs Westwood is survived by two daughters, 6 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.