Meet Our Friends

While we're always looking to reach out to new members we are grateful for the continued support of those who have been with us longer. We aim to introduce you to some of our valued members here.

Name: John Winfield
Profession: retired Professor of Chemistry, University of Glasgow
Friend since: 2011

How did you find out about Hunterian Friends?

During 40 years teaching at the University of Glasgow, my main contact with The Hunterian was to borrow mineral samples each year to illustrate my first year lectures. Over a number of years I got to know the staff responsible for curating geological specimens (particularly) Graham Durrant. I was involved peripherally when the Soddy Box was transferred from the Radiochemistry store in the Joseph Black Building to the Hunterian. My visits to the Art Gallery were few and far between. When the forming of Friends of the Hunterian was announced - with a presentation, as I recall, from Kirsty Wark, I went along to see what it was about.

Why did you decide to join?

By this time I was retired and reasoned that I should have time for such activities! So I decided to join and learn something new. 


Portrait photo of John sitting down‌‌
John Winfield taking a seat in the Hunterian Office sofa at Kelvin Hall

What events have you particularly enjoyed?

Pretty much everything that I’ve been to. I suppose that I get to 50% of the events held each year. I think that of the Exhibitions, I’ve enjoyed particularly the Scottish Portraits (Alan Ramsay et al). Equally (and these were both surprises) the events in the Kelvin Hall labs where we were introduced to some of the Coin Collection and to some of the research undertaken by Hunterian Staff  in less obvious fields of research were fascinating. Last but not least, the poems at Christmas!

What would you say to anyone thinking of joining the Friends?

Whatever their level of expertise, very low in my case, there is something to enjoy as well as something to learn. I now know the principles behind the combination of Malts and chocolate and have dipped into the world of Gin. More importantly, the Hunterian Staff are knowledgeable, friendly and expert communicators (well they would be at UofG!).

Don’t forget as well that there is always the opportunity to wander the Galleries to see particular favourites and raise a glass – in my case to William Cullen, the first Lecturer in Chemistry at UofG.   

First published: 7 March 2019

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