a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 scholarship


Meeting my paternal relations
Norman Greenwood Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

I'd also met people on the ship coming over, I thought I'd see them, and go down to London, see a bit, and also there was my father's family, whom I wasn't so close to for obvious reasons, but they lived in Brighton. My father and mother, interestingly, were both the youngest of large families of five children, and both their mothers, that's to say, my father's mother and my mother's mother, were widowed when they were 35, so they had a big job bringing up large families in the, essentially, the late '90s, about 100 years ago now. And my father's eldest sister was... she was a matron at Coventry Hospital on the night that it was bombed, so she... well, she was now retired, it was from 1948 I'm now talking about, and she was living with her elderly sister who'd been in Brighton, so I went down to see them. And the first thing I heard them say was, 'Isn't he like John, isn't he like his father?' So I spent a wonderful time with them, and with my cousins whom I'd not met before, and got very well-acquainted with them, and they showed me the sights of Brighton, the Pavilion, and so forth. And I went walking around the Surrey Hills, I'd come from Surrey Hills in Australia, but it's south of London, the hilly countryside there.

Guildford Cathedral, Brian, you'll be interested to hear, was being built. It was the first cathedral that'd been built since, I suppose, Wren's London, since the Great Fire of London. I don't think there'd been a cathedral built since then. Of course, Liverpool's come later again, but it had been started in Guildford, I think, in 1933, something like that, but was still being built when I was down there.

Norman Greenwood (1925-2012) was born in Australia and graduated from Melbourne University before going to Cambridge. His wide-ranging research in inorganic and structural chemistry made major advances in the chemistry of boron hydrides and other main-group element compounds. He also pioneered the application of Mössbauer spectroscopy to problems in chemistry. He was a prolific writer and inspirational lecturer on chemical and educational themes, and held numerous visiting professorships throughout the world.

Listeners: Brian Johnson

Professor Brian FG Johnson FRS, FRSE, FRS Chem, FAcad Eu, FAS. Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Edinburgh 1991-1995, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Cambridge 1995-2005, Master Fitzwilliam College Cambridge 1999-2005. Research interests include studies of transition metal carbonyls, organometallic chemistry, nano- particles and homogeneous catalysis. Professor Johnson is the author of over 1000 research articles and papers.

Tags: UK, London, Brighton, Coventry Hospital, Royal Pavillion, Surrey Hills, Australia, Guildford Cathedral, Liverpool, Guildford, 1933

Duration: 2 minutes, 20 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011