Ian Robert Henry Crail



The only child of Liverpudlian travel agent, John Crail (1892-1961) and his wife Ida Florence Ann Crail, née Caldecott (1899-1984) of Derbyshire, Ian was born in Surbiton in Surrey.
Ian was educated at St. John’s School in Leatherhead and, after serving his two years of National service as an ammunition examiner, he took a degree in Chemistry at Christ’s College Cambridge.

His first job was as a chemist with Castrol in Hayes, Middlesex and later in Bracknell after the company had been taken over by the Burmah Oil Company. In 2000 when Burmah-Castrol eventually been absorbed by the Ethyl Corporation, Ian specialised in lubricant additive chemistry, which involved travelling to Europe, America and China.

While working with the Conservative Party in Hook and Chessington, Ian met fellow supporter, Ann Summers (b. 1942), whom he married in 1962. In December of that year the couple moved to Wokingham for Ian to be near his work. They had two daughters, Sally Patricia (b. 1964) and Nichola Jane (b. 1967).

After moving to Wokingham Ian became vice chairman of the Wokingham Constituency Conservatives and president of Norreys Ward Conservatives.

He was regarded as an expert in planning matters which suited his scientific, analytical and questioning mind. Skilful in debate he could reduce very complex issues to ones that the public could easily understand. His main interest in local government was in stemming the tide of building in Wokingham observing that the beautiful market town, like those in Surrey, was rapidly being converted into a suburban sprawl.

A member of the Surrey Masons for years, after he retired he joined the Downshire Masonic Lodge. He also became a member of U3A in which his main interests included Discussion, Genealogy and Cricket. He was a keen Surry County cricket supporter and regularly attended matches at the Oval. In his last years he participated in research into Parkinson's Disease and with Ann supported the branch of the British Heart Foundation. Ian died on Friday, March 14th 2008. Crail Close off Eastheath Avenue was named in recognition of his political career.


Former Mayors of Wokingham from 1947 - 1979, by J Bell.




“Ian Robert Henry Crail,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed September 22, 2020, https://wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0125.



Mayor 1972