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Leigh Weston 1981-2015

Associate Geologist with SLR Consulting whose tragically early death robbed his workmates of a kind, professional and passionate colleague.

WestonLeigh Weston, who was an Associate Geologist with SLR Consulting, based at the company’s offices in Shrewsbury, passed away suddenly on 29 August 2015 at the age of 33. Leigh has worked for SLR for almost a decade since leaving university and had steadily been expanding his experience and responsibilities within the company. 

Leigh was born in Shrewsbury in October 1981 and was an early and enthusiastic amateur geologist, visiting local sites such as the mine workings at Snailbeach in Shropshire and exposures on Wenlock Edge.

After finishing his A-levels, Leigh spent his gap year tracking big cats at the Pidwa Reserve in South Africa, and then went to University in Staffordshire to read Geology. During this time he was awarded a student prize from the Institute of Materials and Mining. More recently, he was the recipient of the North Staffordshire Group Geologists Association’s John Meyer medal, in July 2009.

Leigh joined SLR as a graduate geologist, getting involved at first in the sometimes unglamorous world of supervising drill rigs and their often colourful drilling crews. One of Leigh’s early projects was peat-probing in Scotland, where fellow geologist Alan Edwards recalls meeting Leigh and that “it was a foul day and the job was long & arduous (lots of peat probe locations – many in the depths of a coniferous forest) – yet he had a wide smile on his face, very friendly and utterly professional”.

In addition to fieldwork, Leigh became a skilled geological computer modeller being tutored by his former colleagues Paul Joel and Rob Davies. They both left SLR to pursue their geological careers elsewhere, leaving Leigh in charge of SLR’s quarry design work using the LSS software.

In the last few years, Leigh had been working on a wide range of projects ranging from mapping haematite deposits in Brazil, drilling kaolinite deposits in Cornwall and carrying out PERC assessments of deposits of aggregate and brick clay for a wide range of clients.

Leigh has been described by colleagues at SLR as “one of the kindest, cheeriest and most thoughtful people I have ever come across … always polite, extremely professional and, of course, passionate about geology”. Colleagues who accompanied him on fieldwork recall his prodigious eating ability after a day in the field, with Leigh on the look-out for ‘all you can eat’ curry houses, or places selling triple-decker beefburgers. Yet despite this eating ability, Leigh kept himself very fit through a workout regime which rendered his sudden death all the more shocking to his family, friends and colleagues.

Leigh is survived by his parents Wendy and Ken, and by his brother and sister, Daniel and Lucy. 

John Leeson