Ians Campbells Eulogy 

While people are coming in  “You can’t get me, I’m part of the union” by the Strawbs….


Ian was born in 1936 in Gillingham, Kent then brought up in Coventry during World War 2. The day after the bombing of Coventry, his family left and spent the war with family at Campbell’s Garage, in Main Street, Pembroke. He attended East End school.

“In Pembroke during the war Ian’s grandfather shot down a German aircraft on Saint Daniel’s hill. Ian and many children from East End primary school run up to see the Germans being removed from the plane”

After the war the family went back to Coventry, where Ian went to Bablake School. He then went to Bristol University to study biology and psychology. He met Thalia in 1959 whilst working at the new outward bound school in Holne Devon. Then they went to teach in Nottingham. They had four children

Angus, tom, hamish and Lucy

Lucy remembers: Fishing with dad, harpooning sea bass off the jetty in Aberdovey and trying not to get pulled in. Towing the cutter boat back from the sea over the bar, also in Aberdovey, with the cutter boat landing on the back of our boat, a bit scary. Dad bringing me back from sea a inflatable Heineken bright yellow ball which I loved. Teaching me to swim and canoe in the outward bound school open air swimming pool, it was freezing.


Sailing by weather forecast..need for Ian to do outdoor jobs

Ian did national service in the navy where he was almost included in the military who were going to be guinea pigs in the British atom bomb tests.  At sea  he was airlifted off the ship by helicopter ( because he was a student)   His national service included visits to Malta, Italy and Norway ,,,, you might spot him as a young man in the film of the Yangtse incident. He loved ocean racing in Southampton, the  Fastnet races, and the Round Britain race. Later in life while in charge of the sailing at Aberdovey outward bounds school he was Lifeboat coxswain and in the mountain rescue team.

Poem: Sea Fever by John Masefield


After Bristol university, Ian taught in Somerset at Brymore farm boarding school in the early 1960’s, which had been the home of John Pym the parliamentarian, Ian had replanted the mile of chestnut trees with the school pupils, alternative pink and white up the long drive. They are still there as beautiful  mature trees today.

Southampton at Itchen secondary school. master mariner’s certificate, and taught at private and public colleges in Scarborough.

“Working with the teenage pupils he organized pop concerts with many of the biggest bands of the day, this was frowned upon because the children were making too much money”

This led him to the outward bound school in Aberdovey in the 1970’s.


Ian and Thalia moved the family to Wales as a part of the healthy and flourishing alternative culture at the time. They started making banners mixing art and politics in the late 1970s; the first ones for Aberystwyth Labour Party, and a bi-lingual banner to celebrate nuclear free Wales. Over 40 years later this original banner is still being used to shore up Wales’ nuclear free status.

The hundreds of professional and community banners Ian and Thalia made together over the next 30 years became famous at the Greenham Common peace camp, in the streets and at national and international political events, conferences and exhibitions,. With Gwasg Gomer printers in Llandysul published over 100 bi-lingual colour cards and posters of banners – their own and others – for organizations. These were given and sold around the world.

“At Greenham Common, Ian, in his electioneering camper van, read out over the PA part of the Nuremberg declaration to the soldiers lined up soluting the flag in the missile base, while under the threat of arrest”

Living on the coast at Ynyslas, Borth, they made many of the banners and toured three major exhibitions in the UK and abroad –  100 years of women’s banners, the 150th exhibition of the Co-op banners and then the American ribbon exhibition. The exhibitions were hosted in city halls, city art galleries and museums during the Thatcher era. The British Council purchased two banners to tour globally.

Joan Baez –  Where have all the flowers gone


Ian was a lifelong Labour party member and trade unionist. He stood for parliament in Clwyd North Wales, 1983, and the European election, North Wales in 1984. The campaigns were made stressful with media dirty tricks and vilification and Tory/police physical violence which were endemic.

During the miners strike they made a load of banners for the labour and union movement at cost below cost

“Ian was a founder member of Arts for Labour. With the left wing TV soap opera stars, he filled the halls with banners during the party shift to New Labour, which put a stop to this.”

He was a strong Environmentalist as a part of the environmental coalition of groups in Aberystwyth, an anti-nuclear peace activist, a member of the NUT and a branch secretary of the TGWU. He attended and was a delegate to Labour and trade union conferences in the  1970’s and 1980s.

Summing up

Challenging and effective, for peace and social justice, warm, passionate, engaged and a fighter for human civil rights  correct and challenging to the end, Ian will be missed.

Now Internationale

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