University of Leicester eBulletin

A growing tribute

September 2002
No 197

The University of Leicester Harold Martin Botanic Garden is to receive a donation of trees and shrubs in memory of the late Bennett Professor, Peter Sylvester-Bradley, and his wife, Mrs Joan Sylvester-Bradley, who died earlier this year.

Both Professor and Mrs Sylvester-Bradley were keen supporters of the Universityís Botanic Gardens, Professor Sylvester-Bradley serving on the Gardens Committee and his wife remaining a Friend of the Botanic Gardens right up to her death.

Professor Sylvester-Bradley was the first Professor of Geology at the University. Professor Richard Aldridge, Professor of Palaeontology and Head of Department of Geology, said: "He died in 1978 at the age of 64, an untimely departure for a charismatic and inspirational scientist who still had much to offer both the science and the students of geology. 

"He is remembered in the Department of Geology as an exceptional man capable of bringing out the best in all the people he interacted with. Joan possessed similarly outstanding personal qualities; she shared her husband's love of fossils and was also passionate about gardening. She was also very active in her village and church communities and retained a strong interest in the development of the Geology Department throughout her life."

Their family have chosen to pay tribute to the couple with a selection of shrubs and small trees in the Botanic Gardens. Many of the species represent plants that were formerly present in north-western Europe but which became extinct there after the onset of the ice ages about 1.5 million years ago. 

A tree-planting ceremony will take place at Beaumont Hall in the Harold Martin Botanic Garden on Saturday 21 September 2002 at 3.30 pm, attended by members of the Sylvester-Bradley family, and the Professorís colleagues from the Department of Geology. The Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Burgess will address the gathering.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Further information is available from Dr Richard Gornall, Director of the University of Leicester Harold Martin Botanic Garden, telephone 0116 252 3394, facsimile 0116 252 3330, email; or from Professor Richard Aldridge, Professor of Palaeontology and Head of Department of Geology, telephone 0116 252 3610, facsimile 0116 252 3918, email

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