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7 April, 2006

The pungent Dr. Merriman

One of the University's senior History lecturers, Marcus Merriman, died last week aged nearly 66, a matter of months before he was due to retire.  I didn't have reason to encounter him often, indeed I'm not sure whether we ever spoke in person, but I certainly recognised him whenever he was in earshot, as a founding member of the institution and a true character.

He spoke at Bowland College's 40th Anniversary dinner in 2004, and in preparing for the event, visited my boss (the current Principal) a couple of times. On each occasion, I thought I'd have to go in and rescue her, as I could hear Marcus shouting at her in an agitated manner, but he was deaf and excitable, and that was just the way he spoke.

The Independent published his obituary today. Even without knowing the man, it's worth reading about a 'heroic' academic who owned (and used) a cannon.

"Pungent"? Yes, I was startled to read that in the Independent article, too, but it has nothing to do with the olfactory sense of the word.

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