I wish to advise that Ian Holt passed away over the weekend and his funeral
will be held in Lithgow today.
Few members of this group will have known of Ian, but as President of the
Lithgow District Historical Society over many years he plays an important
role in preserving elements of our industrial railway history, both through
the Eskbank House Museum and the wonderful records collected by the LDHS.
Ian was a key member of the research team for the FF&F project. He made the
records of the LDHS available to the team, especially the great photo
collection that is so well represented in the book, he undertook specific
research tasks, notably locating the bank records of the old Eskbank Iron
Company, and he served as a constant reference point on people and events. I
got to know Ian well through the project. I stayed at his house on several
occasions and we made excursions around the area together, including one to
Sodwells to locate and photograph the original GWR railway viaducts built by
Williams & Blunt - the photograph on p.45 of FF&F was taken during this
Ian had been ill for some time. As his energy sagged, the LDHS found it
needed to hand over its key functions to Council. Eskbank House is now
managed by Council and the LDHS records have been relocated to the Local
History section of the new Lithgow Regional Library. Ian has now been spared
his suffering, but I expect he would have preferred to 'hold on' to see FF&F
in its final form.