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Ian Ferguson

Ian Frederick Middleton Ferguson (1956 BA Geography) died on 1 February 2023 aged 86.

Ian was born on 31 December 1936 in Nuneaton, the only child of Fred and Freda Ferguson. The family returned to the NE in 1944 when his father was appointed Director of Music at Barnard Castle School. Ian joined the Prep School, age 7, and continued his education in the Main School, from which he gained a place at Keble College to read Geography. He followed his degree with a Diploma in Education, which included a term at Christ’s Hospital and cemented his future career. While at Keble Ian was President of the University’s Herbertson Society. He continued to play cricket and squash, and greatly valued the 4 years he spent in Oxford. Holman Hunt’s ‘Light of the World’ always remained a favourite painting, inspired by the original in the College Chapel.

After Keble, Ian became an Assistant Resident Master at The Royal Masonic Junior School at Bushey, teaching geography, running the cricket and helping with hockey until the school closed in 1970. During his time there he took up golf and made many lifelong friends. From RMJS Ian moved to Dean Close Junior School in Cheltenham as a Resident House Tutor and Head of Geography. He coached cricket and hockey and assisted with the outward-bound programme. Over the next 10 years he progressed through Day Housemaster to Second Master, becoming Headmaster in 1981, against a strong external field. The appointment of a Senior Mistress, Miss Margaret Buchanan, to oversee the needs of the girls soon followed, and 2 years later they were married in the School Chapel. They continued to lead the school together until Ian retired in 1997. They were transformational years. During that time Ian inspired the young people with his own love of sport and music, set high-standards, instilled confidence and encouraged a broad education, within the context of a Christian School. Ian’s involvement as a member of the IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) included Secretary, District Representative and Chairman of No. 10 District. In 1980 he became a member of the MCC and never missed an opportunity to go to Lord’s. In 1986 he was licensed as a Lay Reader in Gloucester Cathedral.

During retirement in Wensleydale Ian continued as an Ofsted Inspector of Independent Schools, and the northern representative of JET (Joint Educational Trust), the Independent Schools Charity helping children who had suffered tragedy or trauma. The IAPS Golf Society and Catterick Golf Club both benefitted from his commitment and experience at Committee and Management level, as well as being fully involved in the life of the church as a Lay Reader. The natural beauty of the Dale, the British Isles and beyond were a real joy for Ian, and one he shared with his wife, Margaret. He left this life with a thankful heart for God’s goodness and faithfulness.

Kindly provided by Margaret Ferguson