THE DIARY: Following in family footsteps

Stan Spencer
Stan Spencer
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BRAINS obviously run in this family - and this gown proves it.

Lauren Payne wore the same cloak to her Sheffield University graduation as her grandpa Stan had donned for his ceremony at the same uni 69 years earlier.

Lauren Payne

Lauren Payne

She passed out last week after completing a BA in Hispanic studies. Stan graduated in 1943 with a degree in chemistry.

“I knew my gran had kept grandpa’s graduation gown,” says the 25-year-old of Rotherham. “I wanted to wear it but thought it might be too big. I was delighted when I found it fit. It made a special day just a little bit extra-special.”

And if her future is as bright as Stan’s was she’s got plenty to look forward to.

After his graduation the son of a miner received an official letter congratulating him on being the first person from Rossington to pass through university. He became a teacher at Wath Grammar School before he moved to Ecclesfield Grammar becoming head of chemistry. He passed away aged 83 in 2006.

“Stan was proud of all his grandchildren but would have been thrilled that Lauren wore his gown for her own graduation,” says granny Margaret, of Chapeltown.

“To see it being used again by one of his granddaughters was an emotional moment for me - but a special one.”

Lauren, a former Old Hall Comprehensive School pupil, is now working in Spain.