Tribute: Ian Toplis

  |  Published: Nov 1st 2010

Born in Sidcup, Kent, and having spent his early life around London or in Scotland, Ian moved to Wendover in 1969, after his marriage to Betty Hobbs, a local girl, who had attended the old Wendover School by the Clock Tower. An architect by profession, he moved into teaching, becoming a lecturer in architecture and architectural history at the University of Greenwich.

On his retirement in 1992 and second marriage to Jane Parrott, he became involved with many local societies and organisations. Ian served on the parish council, using his professional knowledge to help steer the planning committee. He was recently involved with the U3A as one of the conveners for the architectural module, was vice-chairman of Bucks Historic Buildings Trust and on the committee of the Bucks Archaeological Society.

His love of Wendover was shown in many different ways: academically he promoted the village, writing the updated section on Wendover for the Buckinghamshire volume of Pevsner’s Buildings of England series and also articles on local architects, such as Sir Albert Richardson for The Records of Buckinghamshire.

Ian was also instrumental in decisions which have affected the appearance of Wendover, for example, from bollards on the Manor Waste, to landscaping an area of waste ground near the Heron Path and not least designing the symbol of the Clock Tower which has now been used on benches, bags and bookmarks to promote Wendover. Ian’s enquiring mind, wide range of knowledge across many divergent areas and his eye for detail, along with his cheery disposition, will be missed by many.

Ian Toplis passed away suddenly, but peacefully, last Easter, on 6 April.

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