These articles are now archived and will no longer be updated.

University Navy Plaques mark the spots where memories were made

Meeting a life partner, forging friendships and enjoying a long happy career are just some of the life-changing experiences now commemorated at Swansea University.

As part of its centenary celebrations this year, the University invited students, staff and alumni to share their special memories of Swansea.

The successful nominations  - alongside other notable moments and individuals from the University’s 100-year history - have now been marked for posterity with a distinctive navy plaque.

The plaques project aimed to celebrate and honour all aspects of university life – from student achievements and social events to research milestones and sporting victories – helping to transform the campuses into sites of living history.

One of the ten successful nominations came from security supervisor Geraint Owen who suggested a plaque be put up at the porter’s office at Fulton House, where he started his first job as a porter back in 1991. Besides working at the University for almost 30 years, he has also seen his granddaughter graduate there twice.

After it was unveiled Geraint said: “I feel privileged to have this put up in my name. Thank you.”

Another plaque has gone up at the beach at the Bay Campus, where former student Ahmed Ibrahim and two of his best friends celebrated before graduation in 2017.

Ahmed, who is now a PhD candidate in the USA, said: “I am truly overjoyed knowing that my memory has been selected. I wanted to recapture my memories of Swansea. I have a lot to give back to the University, my time there was priceless and I can’t find good enough words to describe it.”

Other locations to receive a plaque include what is now known as JC's bar on Singleton campus. This is where Jane Tonks and Tony Clements met as students in October 1978. Three children, two rewarding careers and 42 years later they still often return.

Jane said: “This is very nice news, especially as the anniversary of our first meeting is coming up. Our memory being chosen is an honour and a privilege.”

University historian Sam Blaxland and Emily Hewitt, of the Richard Burton Archives, drew up the list of other significant milestones and people. These include novelist Kingsley Amis who taught at the University for 12 years, its inspirational former head of botany Professor Florence Mockeridge and even King George V who laid the original foundation stone back in 1920.

The University is now commissioning customised maps detailing the plaque locations and is looking forward to being able to welcome visitors to enjoy them when lockdown regulations allow. Until then, visitors can explore each plaque digitally by visiting their webpages, where more can be learnt about each memory.

Find out more about the project and the story behind all the plaques.

Share Story