Pair return to leave their own mark on campus where they met

John and Diana Lomax planting the sapling at Swansea University

A couple returned to Swansea University to leave their own legacy at the place where they first met more than 60 years ago.

John and Diana Lomax, who are both 90, planted a sapling on the Singleton campus as part of the University’s centenary oaks project which will see new trees planted during 2020.

Mature oak trees already dominate the landscape at Singleton, providing a home for wildlife and benefiting the community by filtering the air, reducing flooding, moderating temperatures and offering a sense of wellbeing.

Under the guidance of the University’s biodiversity officer Ben Sampson, students and staff have been planting saplings to ensure future generations reap the benefits of these beautiful trees.

It is a project which Mrs Lomax was particularly keen to get involved with. In the early 1950s she was the secretary to the pioneering botany professor Florence Mockeridge and was among the very first people to ever enter the Natural Sciences Building – now Wallace Building – when it was completed in the mid-1950s.

When they met her husband was a post-graduate engineering student and they married in Sketty in 1957 before moving away with John’s career.

But Swansea remained a special place for the couple and they headed back more than 30 years ago.

The pair, who live in Mayals, said they were delighted to be invited back to join Ben and plant a sapling by the University’s main entrance.

John said: “This is the perfect place, we will be able to see it as we drive past and point it out. We are very proud to have our own bit of Swansea University, this really give us another connection to the place.”

During their visit back to the campus they also took the opportunity to look the Wallace building for the first time since Diana left her role. Diana was able to point out the office where she had once worked as well seeing again the portrait of former boss Professor Mockeridge which now hangs in the building she helped establish.

She said: “Just like the University, the building has changed in many ways, but I can still vividly remember walking in here for the first time. Back then the campus hadn’t been developed very much, there were no cars and I think everybody knew each other’s names. It was a very exciting time to be here and we both have very happy memories of our time at Swansea.”

Rhys Gregory
Editor of

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