Pioneering geologist Dr Bertram Arthur Owen Randall dies

A FORMER university lecturer and pioneering geologist has died aged 88.

Dr Bertram Arthur Owen Randall

A FORMER university lecturer and pioneering geologist has died aged 88.

Dr Bertram Arthur Owen Randall, who worked as a lecturer in Geology at Newcastle University for more than 40 years, passed away peacefully in St Oswald’s Hospice after a short illness.

Dr Randall, known as Bert, was born in Gateshead and lived there throughout his life until he moved north over the river to Newcastle in 1965.

He was the son of engineer Frederick Randall and his wife Bertha and won a scholarship to attend Gateshead Grammar School.

Dr Randall studied geology at the Kings College Durham, taking a break mid-course to volunteer as an RAF pilot in the Second World War, and graduated with first class honours.

He was awarded a PhD for his important first geological mapping of northern Norway and later became an expert on the Whin Sill, in Northumberland.

During this time, he met Ethel Miller and the couple got married in 1951 before having two daughters, Valerie and Elaine.

Dr Randall, who was living in Gosforth, spent more than 40 years working as a lecturer in Geology at Newcastle University but he had a passion for travelling, photography, gardening, and country and ballroom dancing.

Known as a true Geordie, he was also a governor for a Hebburn school, in South Tyneside, for many years and ran popular education trips for the Natural History Society at the Hancock Museum, Newcastle, which attracted people from a wide range of backgrounds.

He and Ethel also gave talks to local church and specialist groups on their trips abroad, donating any proffered expenses to charity. Dr Randall’s daughter Valerie said his family meant the world to him and he would be sorely missed.

She said: “His enthusiastic teaching was greatly appreciated by his students – they teased him that no student ever reached the top of the mountain before him on field trips – even in his 60s.

“He was a very sociable and friendly man. My mother would describe him as a gentle but strong man, who was always very fit.

“His family was also very important to him and he was delighted to watch his daughter and two granddaughters graduate from the University of Newcastle.

“One of his granddaughters, Rosemary Dew, is following in his footsteps and is studying for her PhD in Biological Sciences at the University.”

Dr Randall is survived by his wife Ethel, daughters Valerie and Elaine and grandchildren Emily, James, Rosemary, Graeme and Fiona. His funeral will take place at All Saints Church, Gosforth, on February 20 at 3pm. Any donations can be made to St Oswald’s Hospice in Gosforth.


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