Ian Scott Farnes 1935-2016
Ian Farnes, who lived at 2 Watch Oak Villas, died just before Christmas, aged 81. His funeral was held at Blackham Church on 16 December and his ashes are to go in the graveyard where his parents, grandparents and other members of his family are buried. This is an extract from Rev James Campbell’s address at Ian’s Funeral: Although born in Tunbridge Wells, Ian was a Blackham man through and through.  It was only the outbreak of the Second World War and the worry of living this close to London that led Ian and his brother Mac to be evacuated to Dublin to live with an aunt.  It wasn’t until the mid-60s, around the age of 30, that Ian returned to this village – and never left it.  He had a number of different jobs including at Lingfield Race Course, maintenance work at Gatwick Airport and working in a garage. Ian was well-read and loved his books, particularly books on history and about the war.  Ian had a great memory.  More recently he enjoyed watching television, especially the Yesterday channel; and also liked to watch sport – especially cars, horses and bikes. Ian enjoyed the simple pleasures of life: the Thursday shopping trip to Morrison’s, the bus into Tunbridge Wells after he’d given up driving a car. For a time Ian cut the grass here in this Churchyard. Those of you who knew Ian will know that he was a very private man, quite shy, careful – essentially quite serious, but also an intelligent man.  His career path could have taken him in a very different direction.
Ian was third generation of the Farnes family in Blackham. His grandparents William, a railway worker who was born in Buxted, and Elizabeth, born in Rochdale, moved to the village sometime between the 1891 and 1899 when their eldest son William George was born By the time of the 1911 census they had added Elizabeth (Cissie), Ian’s dad Percy and Charles (‘Tine’) to the family and a few years later came Iris, who was to marry a Blackham lad, Frank Kemp. Percy went on to be the wheelwright at the Forge. One day he met Helen Scott waiting at the bus stop. She had come down from Scotland to work for Nightingale family at Beech Green. Percy and Helen married, producing four more Blackhamites, Alastair (Mac), Ian, Moyra and Christine.
Above: Ian’s father Percy on his motorbike outside the family home where Ian lived his latter years, Right: Ian’s mother Helen.
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