CHARMOUTH resident Dr Geoff Townson, one of the leading geologists in the area, has died following a battle with a rare form of cancer.
Born in West Sussex, Geoff gained degrees in geology at London and Oxford which led to an international career in the oil industry from 1971 to 2000.
In the early 1980s, he also studied drawing and sculpture in Perth, Western Australia, and later became known for his paintings of the Jurassic Coast, both he and his wife exhibiting work at Herringbone, Breeze, Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre ad Charmouth Library.
In more recent years he tutored in drawing and painting from his Charmouth studio, and led courses on both geology and drawing for the Heritage Coast Lyme Regis branch of the U3A.
In their latest newsletter, the U3A paid tribute to him, saying: “Geoff ran the geology group for eight years and gave well over 100 members all the benefits of his vast knowledge of the geology of the Jurassic Coast during that time.
“Indeed, many people from other branches joined our U3A branch in order to participate on his courses, composed of lectures and field trips, so he proved to be a great magnet.
“He was also a talented artist and ran a drawing group one year in addition to the geology group.
“Geoff was a very private person and said little about his illness. Instead, he participated readily in recent online meetings and continued to play table tennis vigorously up to the first lockdown.
“All those who knew him will miss his passion for passing his knowledge on to others and his modest manner.”