Bowland mourns passing of beloved bar manager Ian Thomson

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In Week 5, SCAN was sad to hear the news that former Bowland College Bar Manager Ian Thomson had passed away in Lancaster Royal Infirmary, having lost a battle with pneumonia.

Bowland College Principal Joe Thornberry gave this statement “I’ve known him since I came to work in the university in 1988 and he was probably the best known face in Bowland College. He was a great favourite with students and he really cared about the students here. He used to put up this sort of grumpy gruff exterior sometimes but actually, he was one of those people with a genuine heart of gold. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for friend and he was just generally there to listen to people. He had a great fund of stories and that’s what you want really with someone working behind the bar, you can go in and you can chat. He had a great knack of making everyone feel welcome, but you didn’t want to rub him up the wrong way because you’d soon know how he felt!

“He was really devoted to Bowland College and although he’d been off ill for quite some time, he kept on asking “how’s the college going?”. He was a great great believer in the college system. He’s going to be sadly missed. We’re thinking now and talking amongst ourselves about what we can do to remember him and to make sure that the name of Ian Thomson lives on.

“Obviously now we’re thinking about Yvette, Kirsty and Cameron, his family and supporting them as best we can. When all the arrangements have been made for the funeral I’m sure we’ll have some sort of celebration in Bowland, possibly even in the bar.”

Since his death, Dan Bowen, Acting Bowland College Administrator has created ‘The Ian Thomson Memorial Group’ on Facebook so that Alumni, Students and friends can share memories, photographs and tributes to Thomson, which has received a large response already. At the time of print, the page has snowballed to a momentous 500 likes, with friends, students and colleagues offering their condolences and  remembering Thomson fondly. One wrote: “Not only was he a really good friend, but he was a shining example of all that is Bowland.”

Another, in reference to Thomson’s nickname ‘Chomps’, shared “I gave Chomper that nickname as a reference to ‘Gummy Joe’ from the Simpsons back in 1999. I had the pleasure of his company for nearly eight years in Bowland Bar playing darts, drinking beer and many a good time. He will be greatly missed.” On the page, Bowen himself said: “The College’s thoughts are with Yvette, Kirsty and Cameron. The Senior Common Room would like people to take time to share any memories, photographs or any other tributes.”

SCAN would like to take this opportunity to offer our condolences to Ian Thomson’s family, friends and all those touched by his wonderful presence. Rest in peace.

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