Ian Leisk Blanthorn
Ian Blanthorn died on 18th December 2017 following a lengthy illness. He was born in West Hartlepool in 1928. As a direct result of a recruitment visit to his school by a BBC engineer, he joined the BBC as a Youth in Training at the Middlesborough wartime ĎHí Group Transmitter. His career was interrupted by National Service in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. On his return he joined the Planning and Installation Department Aerial Unit, (later to become Transmission Capital Projects Department) where he became involved in much site work. It was on installation work at Tatsfield Receiving Station that he met his wife Mary, a secretary there. They were married in 1957. He subsequently moved to Transmission Department Head Office, Duchess Street, where he was engaged in organising Transmitter Maintenance Teams, which at that time were being increased due to the expansion of unattended stations. In 1962 he was promoted to Assistant Engineer-in-Charge of the Crystal Palace Station. With the creation of a Mobile Maintenance Team at Crystal Palace in 1980, his title became Transmitter Manager Maintenance, and he remained at Crystal Palace until his retirement in 1987. Sadly his wife Mary died in 2001.
Ian always gave his fullest support to the well being of the station and was well respected by staff, most notably in the way that he gave them help and encouragement, particularly the younger members. Bert Gallon in his early career on mobile maintenance remembers Ianís considerable help during the transfer of a team to Crystal Palace, which at that time required some very careful handling.
From his school days Ianís love of cricket never abated, a bowler of considerable merit he captained his local team for many years. He took great delight in being a member of the MCC - having waited 25 years to join!
The large gathering at his funeral service gave an indication of the high regard felt for him by his many friends.
To his family and Phyllis we send our heartfelt sympathies.