In January 1966, Ian and fiancée Carole were looking for somewhere to live after their wedding planned for 29th January. Ian was certain that something would turn up and it did – a colleague at work casually mentioned she was vacating her flat. Was he interested? Yes he was! So it was that he and Carole settled in Sunbury. The flat was the top floor of the old Rivermead House, where, on sunny summer afternoons they could climb onto the roof and look over Rivermead Island and the swimming pool. They liked this village, and somehow never left.
After the children, Andrew and Emma, were born, Ian settled into Sunbury life. He found time to join the PTA of Andrew’s first school, the newly built Beauclerc. He brought energy and enthusiasm to the role, instigating the first Beauclerc Fair (complete with a marching band along Thames Street) and using his powers of persuasion, to start the annual pantomime for the children.
Andrew joined the 1st Sunbury Cubs and Ian became an avid supporter. He had joined Leander Sea Scouts Kingston aged 11, and was delighted to be involved in the movement again.
Emma joined Riverside Youth Theatre in 1983 and he and Carole became involved. They had been members of ‘Stage Admin’ at Southampton University, working backstage for student productions, Ian lighting and Carole stage managing. By this time Ian was working with Outside Broadcasts with the BBC, so brought a wide range of experience to the Youth Theatre. He soon started a technical team for youngsters interested in the technical side of theatre. Members learned to plan the lighting, rig for productions and operate the lighting board. Ian loved his work, and it gave him enormous pleasure to share his knowledge and enthusiasm.
They lit productions in St Mary’s Church, the Walled Garden for Picnic in the Park, Carols in the Meadow – real outside broadcast stuff! Lack of equipment didn’t limit what they did, Ian loved a challenge and the teccies, learned that ‘almost good enough ‘will not do! He was a hard task master, but his humour and good nature and patience generally got the results he wanted.
Ian was the Lighting Director for the Spelthorne Drama Festival, with Kevin Welling on sound. At times his humour and patience were put to the test!
This sense of humour led to many hilarious anecdotes about the Beeb which were developed into highly popular talks to groups as a fund raiser for Riverside Arts Centre.
Then there was ‘Jeannie’, his beloved boat (or the other woman as Emma said!). She was frequently shared with others, sometimes as a fund raiser for the Church but mostly because he loved to share.
And of course, there is the family, the most important part of Ian’s life. Andrew and Emma gave him great joy and he was immensely proud of their achievements. Andrew’s marriage to Laura and the arrival of his two grandsons really was the icing on the cake!
How his love, kindness, humour and willingness to help will be missed.