Biscuits, books and beer
Biscuits, books and beer (in The millennium issue, Colin Braithwaite (editor), Robert Cheeney (editor), Tim Dempster (editor), Rob Duck (editor), Peter Hill (editor), Sue Rigby (editor), Phil Stone (editor) and Roy Thompson (editor))
Scottish Journal of Geology (2000) 36, Part 2: 102-104
Edinburgh built its commercial reputation on banks, biscuits, books and beer. I used to know my bank manager well, but now my friendliest point of contact is a hole in the wall. Fortunately I have had happier experiences with biscuits, books and beer. You might find this erratic progress of interest. I finished my geological studies in Glasgow University in 1946. Sir Arthur Trueman, Head of Geology and about to become Chairman of the UGC, offered me the job of Baxter Research Demonstator in the department at a salary of #120 p.a. Manna! He added that I should do research and gave me Charles Elton"s book on Animal Ecology to read. "Craig, it might give you some ideas". And that is how I started work on palaeoecology. Originally I had intended to become a chemist, but dull chemistry and inspired geology helped to change my mind. Biscuits Neville George, formerly Professor at Swansea, succeeded Trueman. Within a few months he said to me "Craig, there is a job going at Edinburgh. Go and talk to Professor Holmes". I did. Holmes outlined the job in his oak-panelled room in the Grant Institute of Geology and then Dr Finlay, the retiring palaeontologist, showed me his three dedicated laboratories, his very own dark room, and the fossil collections. After lunch - staple post-war fare of sausages, potatoes and processed peas cooked by his wife Dr Doris Reynolds - Holmes offered me the Lectureship in Palaeontology. No advertising, no application, no short leet. My . . .