Jane Randall, former Assistant Divisional Administrator in the LMB’s PNAC Division, who for over 26 years was the welcoming face for many staff, students and visitors, died on Friday 8th October 2021.
Jane joined the LMB in May 1993, as maternity cover in the PNAC divisional office, and was employed as a typist, before becoming the Administrative Assistant, as the role changed and developed over the years. She worked for many illustrious scientists over the years including César Milstein and Michael Neuberger, both former Heads of the PNAC Division and helped countless postdocs and students settle into PNAC, and find their way around. One of her favourite tasks was transcribing the dictated notes and lectures for Michael.
For many years, Jane also helped with the LMB seminar series, collating and making available lists of up-and-coming lectures. Part of this role included ringing the seminar bell (an old, school style, brass and wood bell) around the whole of the building five minutes before the seminar started.
Jane was also involved in the wider LMB community, helping at alumni events, open days, celebrations and with school visits. This included events for the 50th anniversary of the publication of the DNA double helix structure, memorial meetings for César Milstein and Michael Neuberger, retirement parties for staff and the archive and book stall at the 2014 LMB Alumni symposium. She helped celebrate four Nobel Prizes: John Walker, 1997; Venki Ramakrishnan, 2009; Richard Henderson, 2017 and Greg Winter, 2018. In 2013, as part of the Official opening of the new LMB building, she was one of the selected few chosen to meet Her Majesty The Queen. She was also an enthusiastic member of the LMB Craft and Chatter group and regularly exhibited her stitching at the annual Arts & Crafts Show.
Outside of work, Jane loved music and singing and for many years was a member of the Festival Players, Cambridge and the Cambridge Operatic Society, appearing in productions such as Die Fledermaus, The Producers, Hot Mikado and Parade. She was also a regular cast member in the annual pantomimes in her home village of Waterbeach, and was a member of St John’s Church choir. She also never wasted an opportunity to burst into song at work, particularly during coffee breaks, when her sweet voice would bring a smile to her colleagues.
Above all else, Jane loved people. She loved engaging with them, socialising and helping them. She had a strong sense of humour and a naughty laugh, which could often be heard echoing through the corridors at work. She always took great delight in welcoming back past members of the Lab, with a warm and genuine smile, and more often than not, a hug.
In December 2019, Jane retired and a large number of her past and present colleagues gathered at her retirement party. Jane said of her time at LMB: “Working at the LMB for 26 years was a wonderful experience. I have met and got to know some amazing people from all over the world. Thanks to the maternity cover opening for giving me such a wonderful opportunity and experience.”
Andrew McKenzie, Joint Head of the PNAC Division commented: “It was a delight to work with Jane for over 25 years. She made so many staff, students, post-docs, group leaders and visitors feel at home within PNAC and the LMB. We will all fondly remember her humour, laughter and warmth”.