/ Iain Edwards R.I.P

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John Dunne - on 15 Jun 2011
With regret I would like to inform Iain's friends that he passed away on Tuesday 14th June following a short illness.
The funeral is on Friday 24th June 2pm at Nab Wood crematorium Shipley, all Iain's friends are welcome to attend.
As we all know, Iain was a real character and local legend who inspired many generations of young climbers and knew how to live life to the full. We have great memories of Iain at the peak of his climbing career during the 70's, 80's and 90's and he will be sadly missed.
If anyone requires any further details please contact

Phil Kelly - on 15 Jun 2011
In reply to J Dunne: Sad news John; a true character and as you say, legend.

RIP Iain.

adi3969 - on 15 Jun 2011
Iain will be sadly missed, he was instrumental in creating some superb routes especially at Baildon Bank, namely Scar, Moria, Last Edge, including two unrecorded E6's in the lower quarry which saw there first repeat only this year. His caving achievements at the time were also cutting edge with early explorations of many of the Dales and Peaks grade 5 trips. He was a great inspiration, amazing character and pleasure to know,
Inishowen - on 15 Jun 2011
Such sad news, sorry to read this; thanks for letting us know John.
I met Iain whilst working on his neighbours house, in the early 90s', we became acqauinted and would occasionally nip to his local in Charlestown/lowere Baildon. He was great craic: I loved the tales he would tell me - all with that lovely Yorkshire gift for understatement.
I learned from others how he used to get a bit of beer money by charging unsuspecting visiting climbers' to climb on his crag. I also learned how good he could have been too, most of his hardest ascents were done while he was stoned!
After Dolphin, Baildon has lost another truly gifted climbing son.
andyathome on 15 Jun 2011 - whois?
In reply to J Dunne:
We all go sometime, John. But Iain, like some others, will seem to leave a bigger hole.
Will try to make it.
nigel baker - on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to J Dunne: Sad news....I climbed with Iain and his friend Bill Turner when I first came to Leeds, certainly one of climbings 'wilder' characters. I had some great evenings out both climbing and caving.....The caving trips in the evening meant getting home in the early hours and then going to work! More frightening than the climbing was getting a lift with Iain to Malham in the Porche he once had........Happy days and days I won't forget...Thanks Iain.
unclesamsauntibess - on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to J Dunne: Sad news indeed, never met him but as a fellow west yorky boy the legend that he was, was all too obvious. Did many of his routes at Baildon and they were always hard and entertaining. How old was he, anyone know?
adi3969 - on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to unclesamsauntibess: Iain was 57 years young, far too early for such a talent.
Fox Hill on 16 Jun 2011 - []
In reply to J Dunne:
Spent hundreds of days climbing with Iain over the last 25 years: on every one there would be an " incident ". Best years of my life! Iain Edwards - total legend.
adi3969 - on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to J Dunne:The wake will follow the funeral and will be at Hudson's Bar which is located just outside Baildon, in the dip when travelling towards Ilkley on the moor road.
(not to mistaken with Dick Hudson's).

Hudson's Bar
Moor Valley Leisure
Mill Lane
Leeds LS20 8PG
Rubbishy - on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to J Dunne:

Iain was a great guy - real legend. His ill advised solo session at Ilkley wearing brogues pretty much summed him up - even in plaster he was still trying stuff at Baildon a week later.

RIP Iain.
John Dunne - on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to John Rushby: I think his regular solo of Tufted Crack in office attire and broques was pretty memorable.
David Butler on 16 Jun 2011 -
In reply to J Dunne: My good friend Dave Humphries and I climbed with Iain in the seventies at Tremadoc. He was the reason our grades jumped from VS to E2 in the same year. He pushed the boundaries at the time and feared nothing. He was an inspirational climber and a real character. Sad to hear of his passing.
Cap - on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to J Dunne:
Yes John, never a dull moment on and off the rock, underground, or any pub across the world!!!
Lovely ALF on 16 Jun 2011 -
In reply to J Dunne: Met the Baildon crew as a 40 yr old housewife. No climbing background. They showed me a different life. Iain taught me to climb. Now I climb the world. Will love you forever. xxx
Mick Ward - on 16 Jun 2011
In reply to J Dunne:

In 1974 I met Roger Whitehead at the barn at Tremadog. Roger lived just over the top of Baildon Bank. Shortly afterwards, I met his mate, Iain, at Ilkley Quarry. The next few years were great times at Baildon, the Lakes, etc. Underlying Iain's obvious boldness and wildness was an endearing vulnerability, a humanity and, one suspected, a deep sensitivity.

In the late 70s I moved down to Sheffield. Roger went to America. I always wondered what happened to both of them. The last time I saw Iain would have been the early 1980s, at Stanage. He was racing across to Millstone for a new project.

What a shock, last night, to see that he too is gone. After Duncan Drake and Jim Fullalove, we've lost another great character from the West Riding.

It's obvious from this thread that Iain touched many peoples' lives. And perhaps that's an even greater legacy than his bold, uncompromising routes.

I'll always remember those great 1970s days with Iain, especially at Baildon. May his spirit rest in peace.

Bill Turner on 16 Jun 2011 -
In reply to J Dunne:
I've known Iain for more than 40 years. We lived one street apart as teenagers. He was the most naturally talented climber I ever met. He was incredibly modest about his achievements and did many first ascents years before anyone claimed them. Everything we did at Baildon was originally graded HVS 'cos they couldn't possibly be XS.

There are hundreds of stories but one of my favourites was when we went to Snowdon for the first time. We couldn't understand why nobody walked straight to the bottom of Cloggy. So we set off in a straight line only to find a bloody lake in the way. Most brassed off we decided to do the hardest route on the crag 'cos we weren't coming back, (Great Wall). At that time it used 3 or 4 pegs. Iain led the crux and we did it completely free. Still brassed off with the walk we did another 4 extremes. Turned out the ascent of Great Wall was probably the first free ascent but he never told anyone.

I won't mention soloing on Baildon Bank in shoes after the Bay Horse shut or climbing the 30' concrete street lights on Baildon Road or facing down 20 bikers in Ambleside or driving his dad's Vauxhall at 100mph ......etc

Wonderful memories. Thanks Iain.
Dudley on 16 Jun 2011 - whois?
In reply to J Dunne: Iain was a great friend over more years than I care to remember. I never was any good at climbing but we met on Baildon Bank whilst I was beating 7 bells out of a peg in the 70's. I remember holding ropes and being 'guided' up climbs at Baildon, Malham, Kilnsey, Ilkley, Lakes and ice climbing in Glencoe and the Cairngorms where he always told me the grades at the TOP of the gullies. Add to that caving, installing central heating, bathrooms, repairing cars, stripped down scooters on Baildon Moor, stripping engines out of cars in 20 mins....Iain lived life to the full and his was , and is, a true privilege to have him as a true friend and the memories will last forever.
David Butler on 16 Jun 2011 -
In reply to Mick Ward: If you knew Roger Whitehead at the Tremadoc barn in 74 then you must know dave Humphries and myself Dave (Diddy) Butler. We virtually lived there!
Mick Ward - on 17 Jun 2011
In reply to David Butler:

Hi Dave, I never actually met you (but always wanted to). They said you'd disappeared (briefly?) Beer and ladies were assumed to be the motivations!

Dave Humphries was certainly a fixture though. I always thought of him as Mr Tremadog. Back then, he only had four routes to do to tick the crag. He wasn't fussed about any of them. (One was Neb, I think).

About six months ago, there was a discussion on here about the barn in '74. Did you know Boris Hannon, from Redditch? And there was a really nice guy called Ian, a talented photographer.

In Revelations, Jerry describes the barn as a tip. I suppose it was but I loved it.

Do you still climb? And are you in touch with Dave? I've not seen him since the early 80s. Would love to meet up.

Iain's death is a sharp reminder not to let the 'stuff' of life get in the way of spending time with mates, old and new.

All best wishes,

ianhunter on 17 Jun 2011 - []
In reply to J Dunne: I first met Iain 20 years ago when we worked at Filtronics. I had recently taken up climbing, specialising in failing on easy routes at Ilkley. He came up one day and said “I hear you do a bit of climbing? “ I proudly told him about my exploits, and asked him what grade he climbed. He grinned shyly and said “E6!” We often used to see him at Ilkley. Or I should say hear him, as he soloed down S crack with trainers and a big pack, laughing his maniac laugh. A couple of years later he invited me on a trip to El Chorro, on condition that I trained hard. An amazing experience, with quite a few incidents. One day we slept in and staggered up the hillside in the blazing sun. Iain was supposed to bring the water, but of course forgot, so we rehydrated on salt and vinegar crisps, before he launched himself onto a ridiculously overhanging crack ! He was also a very talented and meticulous engineer, and often helped me with jobs around the house. He once felled a huge willow tree, cutting round the base of it so that it was perfectly balanced. All it took was a slight pull on a thin rope and it crashed spectacularly into the street, to the annoyance of a neighbour who was driving past at the time. He was a fantastic person, a great friend, and I will never forget him.
adi3969 - on 17 Jun 2011
In reply to Mick Ward: Hi Mick, I was wondering if you have a personal email for Roger Whitehead, I'm not sure if he's been contacted about Iain. I've found him online and sent a message to his workplace in Denver uni but that might not be picked up if he's moved etc.
Adi Gill
Mick Ward - on 17 Jun 2011
In reply to adi3969:

Hiya, no, have not been in touch with Roger since the 70s. He'll need to know about Iain. They were very close.

Would think Roger is well known in US climbing circles. He was always gregarious and fun to be with. Could you maybe stick a notice on Supertopo? I'd do it but I feel really upset.

It's great that so many people have come on here to celebrate the powerful effect that Iain had on their lives. He'd have been touched.

adi3969 - on 17 Jun 2011
In reply to Mick Ward: Cheers Mick, I've now spoke to Roger to pass the news, I'm sure he'll be in touch.
Bob Marshall on 18 Jun 2011 -
In reply to J Dunne:
I was a work colleague of Iain Edwards for more than 10 years at MOS, Patriot and now TSC in Shipley. I remember him as a practical engineer who could turn his hand to anything from welding to mechanical design. At one time we were relying on him to check almost all our drawings. For the last few years he was a morose, heavy drinker. No one really knew him well, he occasionally waxed lyrical about his climbing exploits (on mill chimneys as well as mountains).
Mick Ward - on 18 Jun 2011
In reply to adi3969:

Thanks for doing that. I'm really grateful.

Mick Ward - on 18 Jun 2011
In reply to Bob Marshall:

Bob, thank you for your recollections. Back then, climbing wasn't in the least mainstream. A lot of people were drawn to it because they didn't fit easily into normal society. Often the reason they didn't fit in was because their talents set them apart. And, back then, despite the 'flower power' image, there tended to be very little tolerance of people who were in any way different. Society just didn't know how to deal with difference. Because of that, some fantastic talent was lost - which is tragic.

I never knew about Iain's prowess as an engineer. It doesn't surprise me though. There was a keen, analytical side to him. And a real sense of caring about what he did.

Whatever difficulties he may have had, this thread is some kind of testament to a man who gave so very much...


suggy on 18 Jun 2011 -
In reply to J Dunne: I met Iain as a teenager when i was just starting out on Baildon Bank. On a weekend you could often find Iain + others soloing routes and bouldering - often with a beer or 2 on the go. He encouraged people to push their grade and advised me to try/do routes which i def wouldnt dare do now im a bit older and wiser. Im glad i got to climb with him on HIS Baildon Bank.
Roger Whitehead on 19 Jun 2011 -
In reply to J Dunne:

Sorry to be late to this forum. Adi Gill was good enough to track me down via the internet, sent me an email and we had a chat on the phone about Iain's death.

From all of the comments that have been posted and our personal interactions with Iain, we all know what an incredible man he was... as a climber, a friend, a character and for many of us a mentor.

When I was about 10 years old I was playing around on Baildon Bank and there was a teenager with some rock climbing "stuff." We got chatting and though I didn't know it at the time my life had changed. For years thereafter, Iain was the best of friends, an amazing climber, and for me, very definitely a mentor. The fact that he would take on such a young kid speaks volumes to his generosity. Over the years we did hundreds of routes together and following up on Bill Turner's comments, yes, Iain was amazingly modest about his achievements. He led many, many routes at Tremadoc and in the Dales where he eliminated points of aid or did first free ascents - he never boasted about what he'd done and would rarely even mention these climbs.

One incident worth relating was a day when we were coming back from the Dales... Iain had just got his driving license. At a T junction, he asked me if the road was clear, and I was in the process of saying "Clear after the red one." All Iain needed to hear was "clear!" After the ensuing accident, he never asked me for any money for repairs despite the fact it was clearly my fault.

His willingness to climb with a young kid had a huge impact on my life. Like so many of us, I was hooked on climbing instantly and so many of my life decisions were influenced as a result. Wherever I've decided to live, there has to be climbing... so many travels, so many friends and experiences all directly or indirectly a result of a teenager's willingness to teach a young kid how to climb. Thanks Iain, my life would have been very different without you.

So like Iain's gregarious nature... lots of you that have posted comments on this page are old friends and Iain's death has brought us back in touch. I'm still in Colorado, guests are always welcome, my email address is and the climbing here is as good as ever.

Roger Whitehead
Dave Salter on 19 Jun 2011 -
In reply to J Dunne:

When a 10 year old Roger Whitehead first met Iain on Baildon bank - there a was another snotty little 10 1/2 year old tagging along behind and I, like Roger, was first indoctrinated into "real" climbing by Iain.

I not sure if it was our first encounter but that's is how I remember it - Roger and I were scrambling around on the bank when we heard a "ping" "ping" from the Box Quarry. We thought it might be "Stig of the Dump" but when were peered over the edge there was this "real" climber with a big orange bobble hat and "real" climbing gear banging in bolts on the main overhang route. As Roger said it didn't take long for Iain to take us under his wing and there began a life long (so far) and life changing association with climbing. I am sure he realized that if Roger and I continued to pretend we were climbers - with bits of nylon string and old baseball boots - it might end badly and give his crag a bad name - and so Iain became my teacher and friend.

For 10 years I admired his skill and talent and tried to do the routes he was putting up at Baildon and other local spots - mostly without success. He even gave us a complete numbering system on the routes at Baildon so we could make sure we got them all. In my 18 years living on top of the bank and climbing and playing there I think I probably got to know almost every inch of rock, even if a lot of it was experienced from the end of a tight rope belayed by Iain or Roger.

Tear-arsing across the moors between Baildon and Ilkley in Iain's various old cars in various states on inebriation - Roger and I would watch wide-eyed from the back seat as Iain would play "sheep dodgems" and cackle wildly with his signature laugh.

While never joining the ranks of the serious UK climbing scene. My life has been shaped my the love of rock climbing and the outdoors. I count myself extremely lucky to have been involved with climbing in those early days, to have had Iain as a mentor and to have experienced first hand his talents and passions. Under his watchful eye Roger Whitehead and I became climbing partners and best fiends and have remained so for 50 years. I am honored to be able to wish Iain a safe journey on his next big adventure.
Fox Hill on 19 Jun 2011 - []
In reply to Bob Marshall:
Only in the last few months did he seem depressed; up until January this year he was a bloody good companion who had his mates laughing.At my birthday in Jan we had to pull him off the stage in The Malt Shovel as he was about to remonstrate with the singer for making too much noise while he was discussing the merits of staples and bolts. The Baildon Crew send their thanks for these wonderful posts about our friend.
Jennie Howarth on 21 Jun 2011 -
In reply to Bob Marshall: It saddened me to read your posting. It must be the same the world over that we work with people but never take the time to get to know them. By not getting to know Iain you missed something very special in your life. A special friend who was loyal, kind, thoughtful, generous and everything you could wish for in a friend. He also swore like a trouper but never in front of me, he was always a gentleman. When our second son was born we named him Iain William and only then learned that Iain was also Iain William. When we chose our Godparents Iain was the first person we asked and and in true Iain fashion before the Christening he spent hours making a mini wet suit for his new Godson which we all treasure. The christening was only one of three times that I ever saw Iain in a suit, very smart but not how we all remember him, in his wet suit or climbing gear, up a crag or down a cave, at home or in the pub. We feel very lucky to have know him and feel privileged to be able to call him our friend. Everyone who knew Iain was lucky to have crossed his path and we will all share in the sadness of his death. Here's to happy memories Iain, with our love Jen, Len, Stuart and Iain. XXXX
Brian Drayton on 21 Jun 2011 -
In reply to Jennie Howarth:

I first had the good fortune to meet Iain in Dubai in June of 2008, when I joined Patriot Mechanical Handling (now TSC). I always found him to be a straight talker and full of ideas to help address any problems faced. I enjoyed working with him immensely, and he was truly one of life’s great characters……. He will be sadly missed.

God bless, rest in peace.
Richard Griffiths on 21 Jun 2011 -
In reply to all those who had the honour of enjoying adventures with Iain.

I first met Iain when he moved to Baildon and joined my brothers class at school. We spent time adventuring in scouts until climbing and caving really bit him. I had the pleasure and thrill of sharing many adventures with many of the names above including night trips through Dowber Gill and Easegill, climbing routes such as Yankie Doodle in Cornwall before it fell down, as well as more local routes like Green Death which Iain did without breaking sweat in EB's. I can speak for Mark Gray and myself in thanking Iain for possibly one of the most inspirational weeks we ever, climbing with Iain one summer. whilst we were students, and Iain was 'between jobs'. Thanks Iain for providing us with a lifetimes pleasure from what you showed us was possible. You will be sadly missed.
Richard Griffiths
SwissMouse on 23 Jun 2011 -
In reply to J Dunne:

I was saddened to hear last Thurday that Iain had passed away. I have known Iain for the last three years through his work here at TSC Shipley, were he was renowned for his engineering knowledge and expertise, as well as his climbing skills. Unfortunately he was also known for his abruptness and lack of diplomacy,but what else could you expect from a true Yorkshireman! Fortunaetly, the few disagreements that I had with Iain were forgotten more quickly than they arose! On the occaisions when I had the pleasure of sharing a few beers with Iain, he had often spoken modestly of his rock climbing achievements and he would wax lyrical about his experiences and exploists! However, it is only when I have read this stream of tributes that I realise what a true legend he his and how highly regarded he his by the many people who knew him intimately. The tributes posted on this stream are without doubt a true reflection of Iain's endearing and inimitable character and personality. My thoughts and sincere condolences go to his family and his many friends.

Chris Hanley
Tim Broughtonshaw on 23 Jun 2011
In reply to J Dunne:
> (In reply to John Rushby) I think his regular solo of Tufted Crack in office attire and broques was pretty memorable.

Hi John,
he sounds like he was a real character. Anyone got any pictures of him climbing with office attire would love to see that.


Tim Riley on 23 Jun 2011 -
In reply to J Dunne:
Thanks everyone for your tributes and memories of Iain.
I first met Iain at school when he arrived from Scotland in the 60's his hobby then was building and flying model aircraft and outdoor activities in the scouts.
We first started climbing together on a scout summer camp in 69 and after that Iain had the climbing bug. On his return from the camp he made some climbing shoe's from a pair of secondhand hockey boots, cutting the rubber studs off with a hacksaw and grinding the sole flat and smooth by riding on the back of my motor bike with his feet down on the road.
It was soon clear that Iain was a talented climber and the local classic's were ticked off,he then went on to visit climbing area's all over the world,and everyone who met him iam sure will have a story to tell.
I now look back and fondly remember (without having nightmares) all the near death experiances I had climbing,caving,canoeing,driving,and drinking and with Iain "Thanks mate they were great"
Cheers Iain good luck with the next adventure Tim.
Andy McNicholas on 23 Jun 2011 -
In reply to J Dunne:

See you tomorrow old chap, its been good, and I know you will be grinning whilst you watch us punters bidding our fairwell to you! that will make me smile...
oh by the way - the car trip across the beaches of Font was perhaps the kindest thing I have known, it will stay in my memory like the scars on my leg - forever - I will miss you more than you might know, doubtless I will see you in the pit of dispair one day amigos. x.

Andy Mc
David Butler on 23 Jun 2011 -
In reply to Mick Ward: Hi Mick. I went to University in 76 and didn't climb quite as much after that but between 72 and 76 I spent most of my spare time in that 'tip' of a barn. The straw was filthy, it leaked when it rained and was always packed full at weekends but we had a lot of fun there. One friend tried to spend the night hanging from the beam in slings but had to be helped down after about four hours in agony. I remember some guys turning up late from the pub one night to a packed barn and then deciding to have a piss in the middle of everyone. He was not Mr popular after that! I think he managed to piss on Dave.

I took up climbing again in 96 and have been pretty active ever since. Yes I am still in touch with Dave. We go fishing together a few times a year. He hasn't climbed much since falling off 'The Jumper' at Cratcliffe (?) and injuring his back. Oddly enough I put John Kirk and Paul Mitchell back in touch with Dave recently so if you want his number send me an email to . I haven't told Dave about Iain's death yet but I am due a fishing trip soon so will tell him then.
David Butler on 23 Jun 2011 -
In reply to Roger Whitehead: Hey Roger. Nice to hear from you on this forum. You may remember me as Diddy from back in the 70's. Where are you in Colorado? I get over to the States quite often these days so will let you know if I'm ever in the area! I'm still climbing too in Wales and the Peak, but more often in France. Have almost, but not quite, given up the wires for those nice safe bolts....LOL.
Inishowen - on 26 Jun 2011
In reply to John Rushby: John never mind him climbing up. He recounted the tale of 'having a few', whilst at a wedding reception in The Cow and Calf Hotel, he wandered over in suit and wellies (he had them in the car) and down climbed Tufted! Much to the displeasure of the poser in lycra who had been swearing his head off, unable to get it. Iain told him it's easy and promptly demonstrated - before going back to the pub.

Hope your keeping well John, regards Peter Cooper

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