W.M. ‘Bill’ Hall and David Newson Ing

It is with sadness that we record the deaths last December of our benefactor, W.M. ‘Bill’ Hall, and the Trust’s honorary solicitor, David Newson Ing.

We have heard from his daughter Jan and her husband Graeme that Bill Hall died peacefully at his home in Devon on 20th December 2001, at the age of ninety-two. He had started working in the family’s well-known Surrey business Hall & Co in 1927 and retired as Chairman in the late sixties. In 1953 he and his Australian wife Noeline bought Goddards, a home which they cherished and enjoyed for over thirty years with their children Jan and Lee. Lee Hall, who studied architecture at Cambridge, interested his father in Lutyens’s rising reputation, and the integrity and care which Bill lavished on the structure of his house became a byword amongst enthusiasts. Gavin Stamp recalls how difficult it was to visit Lutyens’s houses in the early 1980s, and how his Victorian Society Summer School groups appreciated their warm and friendly welcome, as well as a wonderful tea in the garden, with Bill and Noeline Hall. The welcome did not fade but his parents were deeply saddened by Lee’s death in 1988, and they gave Goddards to the Lutyens Trust in Lee’s memory in 1991.

We shall long remember Bill Hall as a genial and charming benefactor: in Goddards’s history his place is secure.

When we were discussing the formation of the Lutyens Trust in 1984 it was David Ing’s offer to be our honorary solicitor, and cope with the interminable negotiations with the Charity Commissioners, that was instrumental in our successful launch the following year. Since then he has been the Trust’s indispensable adviser, always quietly, and with his ineffable patience and attention to detail, steering us through business and legal matters.

David was a proud Yorkshireman, passionate about cricket and choral music. In 1961 he joined the Dorking solicitors, Downs, and he and his wife Ann, also a solicitor, settled at Sutton Abinger, where their sons Richard and William were born. It was characteristic of David to give his energies and expertise to charity and community causes in Dorking and Abinger, but perhaps his role as honorary solicitor to the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund was closest to his heart: he had taken this on in 1975 and was awarded the M.B.E. for this work in 1986. As the Senior Partner at Downs, and because of his appreciation of Lutyens’s work and local connections, David helped us. His role was crucial in everything to do with Goddards, and in 1992-3 while I was there and Ann was Chairman of Dorking NADFAS, they were both tremendously supportive. If David was disappointed that our dream of keeping Goddards as an educational centre could not work out, he never said so: he worked with our trustee Laurence Kinney on the lease to the Landmark Trust.

After a serious illness David retired from Downs in 1994, but more recently he was back working for us, helping Barry Sillince with insurance matters last year, and he and Ann had enjoyed several of our Goddards’ events. His sudden death at the very end of December came as a shock to us and everyone who knew him. On 11th January this year [2002] George Edmund Street’s St. Mary’s at Holmbury, Forster’s English setting for A Room with a View (associations which David enjoyed) was packed and overflowing for a service of thanksgiving which he had devised: he did not wish us to mourn – in the words from Ecclesiastes read by Richard Ing – ‘a sad face may go with a cheerful heart’. We shall remember and be gladly thankful.

Jane Brown