Ian Phillips, Museum Custodian 2004 -2021

Earlier this year on 26th February the Museum Team sadly had to say goodbye to our custodian, Ian Phillips. Ian was taken ill while attending a GP appointment and despite the valiant efforts of an army of paramedics, Ian could not be saved.

Ian had a varied career , in the late 1960’s/early 70’s studying photography at Regent Street Poly, later working in London as a chef and a salesman. After deciding he had had enough of the high life in London he returned to Abergavenny and became a partner in a photography studio in the town. A further venture was as the owner/ instructor of a local Hang-Gliding school , a role he later combined with being a “stay at home “ Dad with his two sons Rhodri and Nye . His wife Tracey says “He did an exceptional job and our two boys (grown men already!) are his greatest legacy”.

In 2004 Ian was appointed as a “relief/temporary” custodian at Abergavenny Museum , he was later made permanent in that post and was still there 16 years later. Tracey says – “he loved working at the Castle , he cared about the castle , he enjoyed the company of his colleagues , and most of all Ian was a polymath, and his role as custodian gave him ample opportunity to share his knowledge with both colleagues and visitors, and dare I say it , and yes I dare , gave him the opportunity to show off !”

His interest and expertise in so many areas was legendary within the museum team and he enjoyed sharing his knowledge with our visitors. He was our “go to “ person for any problem at the museum that needed a practical solution, be it needing to cover a shift at short notice, a broken display case or last minute adjustments needed prior to the opening of the latest exhibition … it is so hard to envisage our team without him . We will all miss him very much.

Should anyone like to make a donation in Ian’s memory his family have asked for donations to Wales Air Ambulance Service. The donation page is on their website, www.walesairambulance.com.