Notice circulated to members of the Avebury Society, remembering Ewart Holmes, former Chair and champion of the Avebury Society and the World Heritage Site. The Stonehenge Alliance will miss him.
Ewart, who died at home in Avebury on 30th April 2020, was elected Chairman of the Avebury Society at its foundation in 1994 and served the Society in that position until 2002 and again more recently, being its Vice-chairman for many of the years in between. He and his family moved to Avebury in the late eighties from Marlborough where Ewart had chaired the Marlborough Civic Society.
A highly respected architect and town planner, Ewart took on the role of Chair while working as Town Planner and Conservation Officer for Swindon Borough Council, following previous wide experience in private practice as an architect, new town and local authority work, the production of development plans, and the conservation of buildings, townscapes and the countryside.
Evidence of his architectural and design skills can be found not just in Swindon but in many buildings and homes in Avebury, Ogbourne, Marlborough, Bristol and France.
His knowledge, talents, insights and expertise could not have been more appropriate for and helpful to our Civic Society. He had taken a leading role for the Society during the development of the Avebury Local Plan (1992) and worked on our responses to later local and county plans, the Avebury Conservation Area Statement, and the successive National Trust plans and World Heritage Site Management Plans produced over the years. Skilled at visualising the bigger picture as well as being able to hone in on fine detail, Ewart appeared for the Society at Public Inquiries into A303 developments and the new visitor-centre at Stonehenge, always conscious of the potential impact on Avebury of major developments in the other half of our World Heritage Site. In the last few months, he has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the A303, and he advised on a letter from the Society to welcome Keir Starmer in his new post just days before he died.
Ewart also responded for the Society, when appropriate, to planning applications within the Avebury area, often making valuable suggestions for improvements which were then implemented. Ewart’s expertise, good humour and gently persuasive approach will be greatly missed, not only by the Society and his many friends but also by the many others with whom he worked. His enthusiasm for our Society and its role was infectious. His judgement was highly respected, especially his understanding of the importance of keeping in touch with and involving others and working together for mutual benefit in community concerns.
His loss will be keenly felt, not just by the Avebury Society, his family and his friends, but by all those concerned with the well-being and protection of the village and the World Heritage Site.