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Bill Penny with the medal he has donated to the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Bill Penny with the medal he has donated to the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
photo by Nic Delves Broughton, University Photographer
George Penny
George Penny

Press Release - 01 November 2006

Rare medal donated to celebrate 100 years of pharmacy in Bath

A Saltford man whose father studied at the Bath College of Pharmacy in the early 1920s has donated a rare graduation medal to the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology at the University of Bath.

Although the University is itself only 40 years old, and celebrated its anniversary last week, its Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology can trace its roots back to the old Bath College of Pharmacy which was opened in 1907.

Bill Penny, from Roundmoor Close in Saltford, contacted the University after reading an article in the Bath Chronicle about plans to celebrate 100 years of pharmacy training and research in Bath (Delving into college's past, 23 April 2005).

Mr Penny’s father, Guido Harry Penny - known as George, fought in the First World War before attending the Bath College of Pharmacy, situated on Cleveland Place East.

He graduated as a pharmacist in July 1922 and eventually became the owner of the Bath pharmacist shop Pinch & Co. Based at 5 Cheap Street, the shop was mentioned in Charles Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit, but had to be sold in 1952 after George died suddenly aged 54.

“I saw the article in the Bath Chronicle and since I have no children I thought it would be nice if my father’s college mementoes had a permanent home,” said Mr Penny.

“I was only 13 when he died, but I remember him working in Pinch & Co. in Cheap Street.”

As well as the solid silver medal, Mr Penny has donated several certificates, a glass eye bath, brass weights from Pinch & Co. and two pharmacy books that will be on display as part of the centenary celebrations from 4-7 July 2007.

“Unfortunately very little archive material relating to the College has survived,” said Professor Richard Guy, Head of the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology.

“We are very pleased with Mr Penny’s kind donation, and it is great to have some original mementos from the early years as we approach the 100th anniversary of pharmacy in Bath.

“Pharmacy research has come a long way over the last 100 years, not least in the city of Bath, where we can now celebrate the fact that we have one of the best pharmacy and pharmacology departments in the country.”

The Bath College of Pharmacy was based at 6 Cleveland Place East, just along from Cleveland Bridge, and its opening marked the start of pharmacy research and education in the city. Visitors to the site can still see the engraved signage for the College, and its dispensary, today.

The College stayed there for 22 years until it moved to Bristol, becoming part of the Merchant Venturers’ College and later the College of Advanced Technology which, in 1966, moved to Claverton Down and became part of the University of Bath.

To celebrate its success and to mark the anniversary of the founding of the College, researchers in the University's Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology are planning a series of events from 4-7 July 2007, culminating in an invitation to all alumni to participate in a gala dinner.

For more information see the centenary website in the related links section.

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