Ian and I first met during sporting activities for boys at Manchester Grammar School. He was a couple of years above my class in the modern part of middle school. We next met in the first year of the new Bachelor of Science Pharmacy degree course at Manchester University where we teamed up as partners in various laboratory work and met a little socially.
Ian had come to university having completed a two-year apprenticeship with Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) Pharmaceuticals in North Manchester. On graduating, he commenced his national service in The Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) in 1956.
For most of his two-year stint in the military he ran the MRS in Brecon Beacons and so was able to indulge in his favourite pastime of hill country walking. I too was in the RAMC for two years from 1957 to 1959 and planned to return to academia when demobbed. I discussed my plans with Ian who was already working in the School of Pharmacy at what was then Sunderland Techical College (now The University of Sunderland).
In late 1959 and early 1960, Ian and I both married and attended each other’s weddings. Both of us had four children and continued to correspond as our respective careers developed, Ian in academia and me in multiple retail pharmacy. In 1989, I left what became a part of LloydsPharmacy group when they took over my company’s 250 Savory & Moore pharmacies. It was about the same time that Ian retired from Sunderland University to join the Department of Health Medicines Control Agency. I saw more of Ian at Royal Pharmaceutical Society events as I continued my consultancy based at my home in Sussex while Ian lived in north London.
In 2002, Ian retired from any active involvement with pharmacy when he moved to Keswick in the Lake District and was able to have time for his favourite pastime of hill walking. He was soon joined by Ailsa Benson when she retired from the National Pharmacy Association and her St Albans base.
It appears that they had many happy times together until Ian became unwell earlier this year and his condition rapidly worsened at the end of last month. Ailsa summed Ian up beautifully when she said he was a lovely, kind human being. I can only agree with her very meaningful words.
His funeral is taking place on the 24 November at Sunderland Crematorium with donations to be made to the Hope Winch Benevolence Fund, care of the University of Sunderland.