Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > OBs Remembered > RIP - Ian G England-Kerr (DHB, 66-69)

RIP - Ian G England-Kerr (DHB, 66-69)

“I retired the day we got the hotel…!”
22 May 2024
Written by Huw Richards
OBs Remembered
Ian G England-Kerr (DHB, 66-69)
Ian G England-Kerr (DHB, 66-69)
Ian George England-Kerr (Kerr): Donaldsons, 1966 - 1969
Born 15th August 1952 - Died  10th May 2023

There genuinely isn’t enough time today to talk about everything Ian was – is – and always will be, so we’ll try and encapsulate as many memories as time will allow as we reflect on 70 remarkable years of his life.

70 years that began on 15th August 1952 – when Ian George was born to Stella and Arthur, brother to Sue, Macky, John, Andrew and Fiona.

70 years that have been defined by kindness, loyalty, friendliness, thriftiness and adventure - amongst so many other qualities and quirks – notably food related - that made him the Ian you all knew and loved. The way he bit the corner off his toast – stemming back from childhood when there were six siblings all vying for breakfast at the same time. His love of KFC – breast pieces only please – and a classic that never went out of fashion for Ian – the humble choc ice.

Ian had a twinkle in his eye - and was quite cheeky - an opportunist in the nicest possible way.  He’d push in in traffic queues, stay at average hotels with the children, but take them to the 5* pool next door and he was a top gatecrasher. “We haven’t got tickets for this, Ian”. “Just put on your dinner jacket and follow me”. And he always managed to leave a party with more booze than he arrived with…

He was a very welcoming, hospitable – all were welcome for a cup of tea – followed by a pint. 

He was a loyal friend and would never let anyone down. Ian would remember you, even if you only met him once – so he made friends wherever he travelled – and he did that a lot. There are pockets of friends everywhere who held Ian in great esteem.  He had an unrivalled sense of adventure, never afraid to give anything a go – sailing, cycling, skiing - he was quite the daredevil – that began at an early age when he fell out of a bedroom window and broke his wrist whilst he was sleepwalking – when he woke up, he had no idea why his arm was hurting so much… Adventure never far away, he went inter railing with friends around Europe, and would recount stories of sleeping on the beach at Cannes, Wundelpark in Amsterdam and chopping off his long locks because he couldn’t flag down a ride with them.

His good friend Simon wrote:

Ian was so much part of my early life from our school days at West House – I bumped into him a few years later when I was on Cadet Camp in Brecon and he was at Christ College Boarding School there. We both went to the pub – underage, of course – when a fight broke out amongst the locals – the police turned up, so we had to hide in the loos, hoping not to be caught!

We met up again after school – I bought the first inter-rail ticket to travel around Europe for £17.00 – the ticket lasted a month only, but I travelled on it for 2 and came back to Birmingham.  I told Ian the ticket collectors in Europe didn’t understand the ticket at all, so Ian bought it off me for £5, borrowed my tent and set off… He went round Spain, France, Italy and took the ferry to Greece, then travelled up through Yugoslavia – at the border with Italy, a clever ticket collector told him the ticket was 3 months out of date and wanted to see his passport.  Ian said his passport was in his bag further down the train and was allowed to go and get it. He then jumped off the train and hitch hiked all the way back home – I never did see my tent again!  Wherever we travelled, Ian’s love of a cup of tea and a bowl of porridge was never far away.  While we were trying to be cool, drinking rose wine and smoking Gitanes on the beach in St Tropez, to impress the local girls, there was Ian with his little stove, brewing tea or making porridge… 

There was never a dull moment when Ian was around and I will treasure all of those wonderful memories.

Ian also spent a couple of months in Germany to learn the language whilst working for GKN – part of a rich and fulfilling working life that saw him in the role of Buyer and Assistant Control Negotiator, before he and Angela became proud hoteliers at the Awentsbury Hotel in May 1984.  35 years later, when he retired, he was asked how it was going, he said “I retired the day we got the hotel…!”

Ian had met Angela at a Valentine’s Day Party in 1977. “He’s a lovely man” Angela said “But why does he dress like that?” Ian hadn’t mentioned to her that he’d “borrowed” a black cab, after he was sat patiently in the back with the engine running – no driver, consequently, being relieved of his license for a short time. Angela hadn’t asked why she was driving him around everywhere either – their romance blossomed and the sun shone as they married five years later on 14th August 1982 – the day before his 30th birthday.  Ian greeted his wife to be with “You look smart”.  A marriage of true partnership, they celebrated 40 wonderful years together last year.

With the arrival of Simon Jennifer and Laura, Ian became a proud Dad – a huge influence in all of their lives.

He worked hard to provide and the children never went without anything – he always wanted the best for them, and along with Angela, made sure their childhood was full of fun and adventure.  Always there for advice and guidance, he taught them the value of good manners and hard work, to never be afraid to have a go at something and that fastening them to the pillion of a motorcycle using a length of rope is perfectly acceptable.  He taught them the value of where to save and where to enjoy, spending many a holiday lunching on just melon and local bread, and when they went skiing, he’d to set them up in some deck chairs with a plate of chips and they’d communicate over a walkie talkie whilst he did another slope – when he wasn’t going off piste, of course…

Some holidays weren’t without incident though – a broken leg in Bulgaria, trapped in a whirlwind on a boat in Greece, consequently getting grounded on a sandbank…but he always made the most of bizarre situations he found himself in.

He was incredibly generous when the time was right, but was also passionately thrifty – a life long advocate of Aldi, he loved a bargain… Ever the optimist, he would see gold in a pile of sand and he made use of everything he found; “this will do for that.” – he never threw anything away.  “That Triumph TR2 will be worth a lot of money one day” – he said for 30 years, even though most of it is in a box! He’s found more than one abandoned bike over the years, taken it home, pumped the tyres up, bit of tlc – there, good as new.

He was very practical, liked to do things himself – no point paying someone else to do it.

He kept the garden looking absolutely beautiful, he built the conservatory, he built an extension on his already huge shed, after which he extended that extension – and built more sheds - so he could store everything he accumulated…

Not least, of course, his vintage cars.  He had built up an impressive collection of classic and Vintage cars over the years, and he organised trips to Hershey in America, sometimes bringing another back with him.  Ian and Angela had some fabulous times at rallies and car shows, and, on the London Brighton, he got a local garage owner to leave his Sunday lunch, persuaded him to weld his axle – and he made it to Brighton! Ian’s knowledge of vintage cars was unparalleled “that’s an early model – the later one had a different carburettor” “That’s a 1904, whereas that one is 1912…”

He never willingly drove a modern car, unless he was towing a vintage, or it was full of spares, and as a sailor, he would rather drive with the top down, no matter the weather, and he sometimes picked Simon, Jen and Laura up from school in one of his vintage cars too, much to the embarrassment of the teens…

The family tree grew new branches and he became a proud grandfather to Charlie on 3rd December 2019, establishing a strong bond through a mutual love of growing tomatoes in his green house, with Charlie as chief gardening assistant.   More recently, Ian was delighted to become a grandfather again, on 4th April 2022 to Amelia Jasmine Corrigan-Kerr. Ian was thrilled that he taught her how to take her first steps.

Ian really was unique – one in a million would be a cliché, because there has never been – nor will there ever be another like him – and he lived an adventurous, fulfilling life.  A life balanced beautifully between helping to raise a wonderful family, working hard and doing the things that brought him – and those around him, so much joy.

So, thank you Ian, for all that you were and all that you gave.

Being a part of your life has been a joy, an honour and a privilege and the world is undeniably a better place because of you and the memories you have left us.

The world has lost a true friend.



CCB Development Office

📩 Email

 01874 615440

Registered Charity Number


This website is powered by