We met at King's

This is the latest in our series of stories featuring alumni who met their long-term partners during their time at university. If you are one of these lucky couples but are not included here, please get in touch with us

Shared chemistry lasts a lifetime - interview with Lynne and Phill Marriott

Dr Lynne Marriott (née Ingram) and Phil Marriott (both Chemistry, 1968) met at King’s in their first year and have been together ever since.

PHIL: We arrived at King’s in October 1965. I lived in digs in Streatham and then moved to Commonwealth Hall.

LYNNE: My mother told me some years later that she cried when she left me in my shared room in a dilapidated house in Brixton. I later moved to Nutford House, mainly because the lovely Women’s Tutor, Helen Hudson, was concerned that I was partying too much and working too little.

PHIL: There were some 40 Chemistry students in our year and only three females! Lynne and I quickly became friends as we had all our lectures and practicals together.

LYNNE: Female science students were thin on the ground in those days. I felt welcomed, but there as occasional sexism from our male peers.

PHIL: London was less crowded in the 1960s, new to us and very exciting to two young students. We became serious about each other in the second term of the first year.

LYNNE: Eating out then was a rare event and usually at places like the Golden Egg. I can still remember our first meal at a proper restaurant – Schmidt’s in Charlotte Street.

PHIL: After graduating from King’s, I did an Engineering Diploma then worked for a major oil company for 40 years, with a two-year break to do an MBA at Harvard in my mid-20s.

LYNNE: I worked as a Chemistry teacher, which I really enjoyed. In our mid-40s, Phil had a three year assignment in Dallas, Texas. Pursuing a long-term interest, I enrolled on to various nutrition courses at Texas Woman’s University, which on return to the UK turned into a Nutrition degree at the University of Surrey, followed by a PhD. I subsequently worked for the Medical Research Council as a Postdoctoral Fellow.

PHIL: Recently, Lynne was persuaded by Andrew Parrish [Chemistry, 1966] to help organise a Chemistry alumni group, and Professor Roger Morris arranged trips around the new Chemistry Department for us.

LYNNE: We were impressed with Roger’s vision and dedication to make a success of the recently reinstated department and thought we would like to help in some way. He suggested that we could support the summer internships for chemistry students overseas, particularly in the USA. Not only would this help attract capable students to King’s but also boost the reputation of the department. This seemed an ideal fit, given that we had lived in the USA and both attended university there.

PHIL: We are very grateful to King’s for giving us a very good scientific education. We are the first members of our respective families to go to university, which led to interesting and satisfying careers for us both. Living in London was a plus and the social life based around King’s was great.

LYNNE: We’re retired now with three grown-up children and two grandchildren. Much of what we do revolves around our family.

PHIL: One of our favourite pastimes is walking in the countryside, followed of course by a pub lunch. I enjoy playing, but mostly watching, sports these days, while Lynne has been hooked on ballet ever since her first visit to Covent Garden as a student.

>> We hope you enjoyed these alumni tales. Please contact forever@kcl.ac.uk if you would like to submit your story.