Humberside Geologist No. 13

(published 1999)

Lewis Penny remembered

Lewis Penny was a lecturer at Hull University from 1949 until his retirement in 1980. He retired to Northallerton and died of cancer on 10th August 2000. He is survived by his wife Mary and their four children Nicholas, Catherine, Andrew and Stephen. His funeral was held in Darlington on 18th August. Dr. Arthur Fraser took the service and Prof. John Neale gave the address, both were fellow lecturers in the Department of Geology.

Graduating from Cambridge University after the Second World War, he was appointed as a lecturer in geology in the Department of Geography. When the Geology Department was created as an independent entity in 1954 Lewis effectively became the Head of Department until the arrival of the first Professor of Geology in 1962.

He took an interest in local geology, and was co-author to field guide to the geology around Market Weighton. His main research interests were in the Quaternary. His local research led to the greater understanding of the glacial deposits of Holderness - Catt and Penny 1966. He was the editor of the Geological Society's "A correlation of the Quaternary Deposits of the British Isles" report published in 1973. He was a founding member and the first secretary/treasurer of the Quaternary Research Association and was their President in 1971-3.

He played an active part in local Scientific Societies. He gave lectures to the Hull Geological Society and helped in field meetings. The late Kenneth Fenton remembered the finding of the Dimlington Moss Bed, the radiocarbon dating of which Lewis published in Humberside Geologist. Felix Whitham remembers Lewis taking a group of members urgently to inspect and collect from a temporary exposure of the Bridlington Crag, in the mid 1960s. Lewis was Vice-President of the Society from 1965 to 1967 and was made an Honorary Life Member of the Society in 1977. He was a member of the Council of the Yorkshire Geological Society three times: 1951-4, 1959-62 and 1971-4. He was also the President of the Yorkshire Geol. Soc. From 1962-4 and was awarded their Sorby Medal in 1979 for "distinguished contributions to the geology of Yorkshire and the north of England". Lewis was also the Secretary of the Yorkshire Naturalists Trust from 1968-72.

When he retired from the University his colleagues at Hull and elsewhere published a book entitled "The Quaternary in Britain" as a tribute to his work.


Anon, 1980. Annual report for 1979. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society 43, 191-9

Catt J, 2001. L F Penny, 1920-2000. Quaternary Newsletter, 93, February 2001.

Catt J & Penny L F, 1966. The Pleistocene deposits of Holderness, E. Yorks. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society 35, 375-420.

Cecil K, 2000. 'Ice Man' service. Hull Daily Mail, 14th August 2000, p12.

Neale J W & Flenley J (eds.), 1981. The Quaternary in Britain. Pergamon Press.

Penny L F, 1977, Radiocarbon dates for the last glaciation in Holderness. Humberside Geologist 2, 12-13.

Copyright Hull Geological Society.

If you enjoyed reading the article please consider joining the Society or sending a donation.

copyright Hull Geological Society 2020

Humberside Geologist Online