On arrival I was thrilled to find that some of Mary's extensive library was on sale to attendees for just an appropriate donation. I was therefore pleased to be able to pick up a little slice of the social history of the study of nature in south Wales including the book Swansea Bay's Green Mantle: Wildlife on an Industrial Coast (1982) which was a signed copy.
I was only able to meet Mary on one occasion, when at short notice Juilan Branscombe (former GWT Chief Executive) asked if I could take a party from Cardiff Naturalists' Society around Magor Marsh. My overriding memory of the walk was Mary's ability to identify a couple of stoneworts not just by their English names but Latin as well. The talk on Saturday was a fitting tribute to the life one of Wales' great modern day naturalists.
Footnote:- whilst browsing the Healthy Planet bookshop in Pontypool during my lunchtime earlier this week it was something of a coincidence to find a copy of one of Mary's early books Sub-Antarctic Sanctuary (1967), thereby adding to my mini collection of Gillham books.
Should you want to know more about the life and times of Dr Mary Gillham visit the Cardiff Naturalists' Society website via the link on this blog.