This tribute was written by one of Ian's life long friends and was read out at Ian's funeral 13th June 2006.
These few words, whilst mine and personal, could be transposed for most of Ian’s peers. This is simply because Ian was a straight forward, easily spoken bloke.
However, to start with, I want to call him Ed.
Names have massive significance, meaning different things to different people. Though called Ian, he was always Ed, or Edgar, to me at school. He told me why a few times, but I can’t really remember. This is significant, because my name is Andrew – but I was always Stan at school, and the fact that those school names linger gives a quality to a friendship – a lasting quality, in this case of around 30 years. The somewhat childlike nature of a nickname offers a way of keeping a friendship young, alive and fresh.
So, over a fair few years, Stan and Ed were friends. Through learning life at school to drifting apart through some rough times of strikes and studentship, the names kept a channel open meaning that at the next meeting we could pick up just where we left off, like it was yesterday.
No matter that PC Hardwick had a difficult and responsible police career, and that Mr Stacey had professional duties in education, the lightness of communication never got lost. The names kept personal and professional matters just that – separate.
We were at each others wedding celebrations, I have seen Ed’s children grow, we’ve kept in touch through trials and tribulations, and been through various health scares between us – but all with an eye to keeping things light – hearted and trying to look on the bright side. We’ve eaten regularly at each others homes and enjoyed the company, even though Ed’s dietary requirements have to be described as basic – a shame he never appreciated the joys of chillies, curries and garlic, but a joy we both learned to enjoy a Claret, a Chardonnay and a Chablis.
The final thought has to be of the Quo. Between us we saw them well over twenty times – together first at Selhurst Park, London in 1984 and latest in Birmingham just a few weeks ago. I’d like to remember him that way, throwing his not insignificant frame up and down and enjoying the good times.
Bye Ed, sleep well.
You were my friend.