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Ian Mackintosh obituary
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Ian Mackintosh obituary

My father, Ian Mackintosh, who has died aged 97, enjoyed a distinguished career as a civil engineer for more than three decades before reinventing himself as a secondary school maths teacher in later life.

Ian, a civil engineer, was employed at various companies such as Halcrow, Taylor Woodrow, and Balfour Beatty. He worked on a range of projects including the Dungeness A nuclear power station, the Mangla dam in Pakistan, the Kainji dam in Nigeria, and the deep excavation and tunnelling for the Bond Street station on the London Underground Jubilee line. In addition to publishing several articles in professional journals, Ian was also invited to speak at the 1964 International Congress on Large Dams in Edinburgh, showcasing his expertise in dam engineering.

Ian was born in Anstruther, Fife and his parents were James, a general practitioner, and Emma (nee Ellis), a Salvation Army officer. Tragically, James died in a cycling accident when Ian was only three months old. Emma then relocated to Bath with Ian and his older brother, Jim, as she was offered a job as a warden at a Salvation Army retirement home.

Ian received a scholarship to attend Epsom College in Surrey from 1938-44. During this time, he was exposed to the presence of German V1 and V2 rockets near the school. He then pursued a degree in mechanical sciences at St John’s College, Cambridge and quickly gained recognition as a rugby referee due to the absence of lecturers who typically held this role during the war. In 1946, while still an undergraduate, Ian refereed the second XV varsity match between Cambridge LX Club and Oxford Greyhounds. He was also a co-founder of the Cambridge University and District Referees Society, which continues to oversee the refereeing of rugby at college, university, and club level in Cambridgeshire.

After serving in the military at Sandhurst, Ian became a civil engineer at Halcrow in 1950. He later worked as an economic analysis consultant at Balfour Beatty, taking early retirement in 1981. He then became a math teacher, utilizing his previous experience at Sandhurst and the high demand for teachers in this subject. He taught at Cardinal Newman school in Acton from 1981-84 and then moved to Sacred Heart school in Hammersmith, where he remained on staff until his retirement in 1991. He continued to work as a substitute teacher until he reached the age of 70 in 1996.

Outside work Ian was a choral singer for more than 70 years, including a stint in the Bach choir. He was a stalwart member of the London Society of Rugby Referees, where a fellow member of his “Golden Oldies” group was Denis Thatcher. In retirement he self-published five books featuring his abridgements of travel and theological writings.

In 1962, Ian and Hilary Hunt met through the English Speaking Union club in London. Hilary was a primary school teacher. They got married later that year. I was born while the family was living in central Nigeria at the Kainji dam. After two years, the family moved to Hammersmith, west London.

Hilary passed away in 2022. Ian is survived by his offspring, Catherine and myself, as well as five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Source: theguardian.com