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Iain Ashworth Williamson 1931-2019

Iain Williamson

Highly sought after geological consultant with a passion for field geology and travel 

Iain Ashworth Williamson passed away peacefully on Saturday November 2nd after a short illness. He remained very active until recent months and often enjoyed his walks around Ambleside and then Kendal, where he was resident in his final months.

Iain attended Burnley Grammar School from 1942 – 1950 and Nottingham University from 1955 – 1958, graduating with a B.Sc in Geology and in 1960 with an M.Sc.

Travel and research

From an early age, Iain always had a passion for field geology and enjoyed all aspects of mountaineering, maps and history, spending many happy hours immersed in books. He travelled to many parts of the globe, as part of his work and research – including some very remote parts of the South Americas. Iain was a very accomplished golfer and declined the chance to turn professional in favour of his studies.

Iain was devoted to Pat (nee Holt), his wife of 60 years and was the proud father of Roger and Katie and grandfather to Ross, Bill, Ambrose & Digby. His son Roger followed in his footsteps as a geologist, until his death in 2010.

Memberships and publications

He was elected as a Fellow of The Geological Society in 1953, then a Senior Fellow and an Industrial Fellow from 1958 – 1998. He was also a member of the Manchester Geological Association from 1951, the Lancashire Group of the Geologists’ Association from 1950, the Yorkshire Geological Society from 1950 and the Institution of Mining Engineers from 1965.

He was widely published and wrote several papers over the last 50 years including several, often referenced, early papers on Tonsteins - and was the author of ‘Coal Mining Geology’, published in 1967.

He was a Senior Lecturer at The Wigan Mining College from 1958 – 1980 and was a very successful and highly sought-after geological consultant since the early 1970s.

In his own words: ‘My most fundamental belief is in there being a God to whom all natural things belong. Please ask folk not to grieve  - and remember me when the wind blows in your face and when you are walking in a blizzard and enjoying the sensation of nature.

I’m now on my next and probably my greatest adventure.’

By Mark Witherspoon