People in 2004

Gillian Cockroft (nee Harries) B.Sc. 1964 contacted the webmaster in Feb 2004 :

Hi, I am a past student of QEC. I graduated in '64 (I do believe) from the Biochem/Zoology BSc program. My name was Gillian Harries - now Gillian Cockcroft.  I have been widowed for the past 20 years and brought my three kids up myself, thankfully they have all turned out very well.

I emigrated to Canada in 1966 and worked in Biochem at the University of Toronto and th University of Guelph. However the past 20 yrs I have been selling real estate in Oakville, Ontario. I play tennis on competitive teams and squash and badminton for fun. I train in order to stay fit. I no longer play lacrosse.

I often wonder how my old class mates are. Alas, I don’t remember too many names. Is Neville Marsh the Neville with glasses who would have been around about the same time as me? Has anyone heard from Apollo Plato Econimedes (spelling?) and his side kick Mick Cannon? Gary Balien Went to the States I do believe.

The only people I still keep in touch with are my old flat mates Gwen (Bakewell) Singleton and Betty (Pryor) Cooper. My head must have been in the clouds during my years at QE because I remember very little. Prof Robinson was my Biochem prof and was a very nice chap. I think Price was another lecturer in the Biochem dept. If anyone is in Canada or coming over give me a heads up. I would love to hear from any others who were around when I was.
Gillian (Harries) Cockcroft
(If you want to e-mail Gillian please contact the webmaster)

Megan Slade nee Mainwaring, Household Science B.Sc. 1958. Megan’s career spanned teaching in secondary school, technical colleges and universities. The last 20 years of her career were as Head of Department / Principal Lecturer at University College, Worcester, where she taught at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She is now Honorary Research Fellow and University College, Worcester.

Phyllis Eaton, Nutrition, 1963 is a self-supporting minister working from a Church of England Parish without a Vicar and holds an honorary post as Senior Lecturer in Medical Ethics for the Bioethics Department at Birmingham University Medical School.

John Rickard, Mathematics, 1966. Now resides with his wife Veronica in Rockhampton, Australia, where  he has taken up the position of Chancellor and President at Central Queensland University. They have been visited by fellow QEC’er Susan Jeffery and her husband who were on their way round Australia on ‘a trip of a lifetime’.

Michael Roberts (Mike) Food Science, 1977. Since graduating from QEC Mike has spent his working life in the food industry, both in manufacturing and retail. Since 1992 he has managed quality, safety and legal advisory business’. He is married with three children and lives in a small village on the North Oxfordshire / Buckinghamshire border.

Carolyn Katzin (nee Lade, formerly Speelman), Nutrition, 1983. Carolyn moved to Los Angeles right after graduation and loves the Southern Californian lifestyle. She would love to hear from other class mates. Carolyn’s website can be found at

David Smith, Nursing Studies STD 1972, is spending more time in his garden and home, and less in formal work. Full retirement is still in the future.

Yassi Sheybani, Nutrition B.Sc. 1974, emigrated to Canada in1981 with her husband and they now have two boys who are true Canadians! She often thinks about her wonderful time years at QEC and rembers all her friends. She would love to hear from anyone who knew her.

Michael Ayers, Biology, B.Sc. 1978, completed a PhD in insect neurobiology. He moved to Leeds, married and joined the pest control fraternity. After being made redundant he now runs his own business delivering organic and animal-friendly (mostly) pest control colutions to companies supplying retailers.

David Mundow, Human Environmental Science, B.Sc., 1990, is currently working as Energy Manager for Vale of Glamorgan Council, South Wales.

Duncan Steel reports on a rare Astronomical Occasion”

Duncan Steel 1974-77Duncan Steel (Physics and Astrophysics, 1974-77) presented two programmes on Radio 4, on 26th May and 02 June (2100-2130) about the transit of Venus.

On June 8, 2004, Venus - the Earth's sister planet - passed in front of the Sun as seen from the Earth. This very rare event (no person now living has ever seen one!) only lasted for about 6 hours and was visible from most of Europe, Africa and Asia.

To listen to the broadcast you can use the Radio 4 ‘listen again’ feature. For this, and to see the Radio 4 page about the transit and Duncan’s programme, click here. (This may not be available for too long after the date of transmission)

Professor Howard Dalton FRS

QEC Prof. Howard DaltonProfessor Dalton gave the talk at the 2003 Reunion, and all agreed that it was indeed a fascinating talk about his life. Howard Dalton is currently head of Defra, and one of the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisors.

Howard is also a Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Warwick University, and heads a successful research team there. His research interests include nitrogen fixation, electron paramagnetic resonance on metalloproteins, the biochemistry and genetics of methane oxidation, and mass spectrometry/proteomics, biotransformations of organic compounds to oxygenated products by bacteria and yeast’s.

Howard was awarded his doctorate in 1968 from the University of Sussex and  was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Purdue University, Indiana and Sussex  University for the next five years before becoming a Lecturer in Biological  Sciences at Warwick University. Since 1983, Howard has been Professor in the same department and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1993. He was  President of the Society for General Microbiology during 1997-2000, and is now an Honorary Life Member of the society, and was awarded the Leeuwenhoek Lecture Medal of the Royal Society in 2000.

The Webmaster writes : Since this article was posted we have heard of the sad death of Prof Dalton on Sat 12 January 2008. His obituary is here.

This page created 17 September 2004 and last updated 03 May 2008 with link to Prof Dalton obituary.