Ian David East: [Heath 1951–1958]

Ian was born in Sowerby Bridge to Harry and Phyllis. He had an older sister Anne and the family subsequently moved to South Darley Street in Halifax. His father was a mechanic with the Halifax Bus Company and his mother became well known to many H.G.S. boys through her work at Greenwoods bookshop in Bull Green.

Ian East in judge’s wig and robes with fellow actor
Ian East (on the right) playing for
Lincoln Repertory Theatre 1963

After attending Akroyd Place Junior School Ian joined Heath in September 1951. He was gifted academically but early childhood illnesses meant that he was not able to participate fully in sporting activities. However, to overcome this weakness, he had from an early age taken dancing lessons with the Doreen Edwards School of Dance for which Phyllis was the pianist and this accomplishment was put to good use by the school Dramatic Society when he performed two jigs in the 1953 production of the Knight of the Burning Pestle (Heathen 1953 2(7) pp. 22–26). During his Sixth Form years studying A level French and English he had a lot of enjoyment playing fives regularly.

Ian always wanted to become a professional actor and throughout his time at Heath he played many character parts ranging from Ben Gunn in Treasure Island (Heathen 1953 2(7) pp. 21–22) through Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Heathen 1955 2(9) pp. 23–25) to Tiresias in Sophocles’s Antigone (Heathen 1957 2(11) pp. 19–22). His performances were always impressive and as Sganarelle in Moliere’s Le Médecin malgré lui (in which I played the part of Geronte). I think he had already achieved a professional standard — a view shared by John Elliott in his review of the production for the 1958 edition of the Heathen pp. 25–28.

In 1959 Ian enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and after completing the two year course became a member of repertory companies in Lincoln, Whitby and Harrogate. Later he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and toured in productions of Nicholas Nickleby in the UK and the USA during 1986.

Between 1965 and 2014 Ian had a long list of TV credits appearing in Agatha Christie's Marple The Blue Geranium (2010), The Bill, Eastenders, Holby City, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby and many others.

He also appeared in films including The Oxford Murders (2008 with John Hurt and Elijah Wood).

In the early 1990s Ian was involved with and directed theatrical workshop productions for the amateur dramatic group, the Hampstead Players, in London, giving generously of his time and theatrical knowledge

Ian married Judy in 1964 and they had two children Sarah and Duncan.

John Raymond Crossley [Heath 1951–1959]