Carol Lever

Ian was very well respected and was a great friend to me for many years. He sort of took me under his wing as a volunteer at Friends of the Earth and we worked closely together at ASH on the Smoking Ban, which I believe was successful due to Ian. I was the campaigner to his campaign manager and I was in awe at how clever he was. 

We used to joke that if they made the campaign into a film who would play us. Ian very gallantly said Demi Moore for me, and Orson Wells playing Hank Quinlan (from a Touch of Evil) would play him.  After the win Ian emailed the Head of Forest, the tobacco companies ‘grassroots’ organisation a raspberry. Just that, and only that, a picture of a raspberry. 

The last time I spoke to Ian he was in Little Haven. We chatted about things and discussed the TV series or box sets we would watch. Ian had started watching Law and Order. I have been a fan for years, and he especially liked the character Lenny Briscoe because of his deadpan quips at murder scenes, which we laughed about. 

We had both been big fans of The Wire, Ian lending me, then buying for me, the box sets so I could catch up with the story. He liked to discuss it and have you on the same page so you got the references.  I saw this twitter post from Ian and thought that is so Ian. 

‘Michael Cohen had SIXTEEN cell phones seized by the FBI. Even Stringer Bell only had two’.

Ian was a mentor to me and then became a friend. I had my 50th birthday at Little Haven and everyone had a special time there because of Ian. After dinner at the local pub we went back to the flat beneath the house and partied with Ian playing the music on his keyboard. He was a very kind person, very intelligent and I will miss him a lot. We had plans to go for a good lunch once the lockdown was over and when restaurants reopen I will go out for lunch to toast him. 

The last time I saw him we met for lunch in Hampstead, it was a lovely crisp sunny day. We chatted and laughed, he might have shown me the dog jumping into leaves, then I walked with him to the tube station before I set off on a walk on the heath. We hugged, joked and made plans to meet up in March but lockdown happened instead. But that’s how I want to remember Ian, laughing and waving as he walked away on a beautiful sunny afternoon.