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Newsletter 124 Spring 2019   © Hampshire Mills Group


Tony Yoward 1925-2019



Andy Fish writes :


I was deeply saddened to hear the news that our president Tony Yoward passed away peacefully at home with his family on 19 January 2019.    



I first met Tony when I joined ‘Southampton University Industrial Archaeology Society’ back in  2000.  On our first meeting I showed him some very poor quality photographs of the little Corn Mill at Mullion Cove in Cornwall.  In less than 24 hours I received a potted history of not only the mill but also the millers and some of their employees.  Tony loved nothing better than to share his wealth of information with anybody who was interested.  He came on all the study trips that we arranged and would always fill in gaps in our knowledge and highlighted points of interest along the journey.

For a number of years Tony accompanied me to the Dorset Industrial Archaeology group lectures in Dorchester, he would drive over to Southampton and then I will take him on to Dorchester chatting all the way.

I will greatly miss his company on trips and thank him for all the work he carried out to research and record the history of Mills and Milling in England, and especially Hampshire.


Information supplied  by Jane Yoward

Tony was born in Bath and grew up mostly in Swindon where his father ran a pharmacy, so he was probably always destined to be a pharmacist himself.  He met his future wife Mary in 1947 when they both went to the School of Pharmacy at Merchant Venturers College in Bristol.  They were married in 1950 and soon moved to Emsworth to manage the pharmacy in North Street, which they later bought.  Their two children, Jane and Nick, grew up in Emsworth.

One of Tony’s less well known interests was motor sport.  He joined Southsea Motor Club in 1957 and was a committee member for many years, and treasurer for 23.  Tony was an organiser and administrator, but he was also a competitor, driving a Mini and a Mini Cooper to take part in club rallies.  He will be most remembered for his navigating and co-driving.

In the late 1970s/early 1980s Tony and Mary became interested in industrial archaeology and latterly mills.

Tony became chairman of Southampton University Industrial Archaeology Group from 1987-89.  He also created a Glossary of British Mill Terms in 1996, ;which is now published by the SPAB Mills section.



Tony & Mary at an HMG meeting at Eling Tide Mill
 – Dave Plunkett

Tony and Mary moved to Slipper Mill in 1970, and in 1980 he helped organise the purchase of Slipper Millpond by local residents, and inevitably becoming a trustee.  So he was able to summon HMG to repair the sea gates, as shown in Dave Plunkett’s photo (left).

They retired in September 1986 and suddenly life was even busier.  At this point they belonged to more than 50 different organisations.  These included motorsport, industrial archaeology and genealogy.  Tony held various positions in both industrial archaeology societies and in motorsport.  He was a member of the Association for Industrial Archaeologists council, a committee member of SPAB for 12 years and archivist for Hampshire Mills Group. 


He enjoyed giving talks on canals, mills, IA, and cast-iron grave markers, on which he was an international expert.  

Sadly, Mary died of meningitis in 2006 after 56 years of marriage.  Despite gradually losing his hearing, Tony continued his interests and went on various study tours – and took up Mary’s research of the Yoward family line, connecting back to 1505.

In 2013 he had a heart attack and then a stroke in 2017 which affected his speech.  This was two days after returning from an HMG trip to South Wales.  Almost to the very end, he was determined to remain independent and stay in Slipper Mill.  He had often told the family that the only way he would leave the mill was in a wooden box!

Clearing undergrowth from Durford Abbey wheel in 1998,  for once Tony is in wellies, not sandals!  
Ruth Andrews


Marilyn Palmer, President of The Association for Industrial Archaeology,
spoke at the Celebration of Tony’s Life:


I am honoured to be able to talk very briefly about Tony’s interest in industrial archaeology.  He and Mary were passionate about mills and millers and I know that their many records were deposited as a special collection in 2017 with the Mills Archive in Reading.  I have been with him at many mill sites both here in the UK and in Europe when we were both on tours run by Heritage of Industry.  One problem was that he refused to abide by the rule of wearing solid shoes or boots for such visits and I have a clear memory of him scrambling up a very ruinous post mill in Poland in his sandals!  He always managed to talk his way into sites which tried to insist on different footwear!  On one of my country house technology tours for Heritage of Industry quite recently, Tony had a wonderful time on a mobility vehicle around the estate at Tyntesfield which he regarded in much the same way as he did the Goodwood racing circuit!


For many years, Tony and Mary had charge of the very complex booking system for the Annual Conferences of the Association for Industrial Archaeology.  They used to drive to Council Meetings in Ironbridge and park the camper van in various museum car parks.  From this, they dispensed gin and tonics with a very generous hand, which certainly helped the meetings along!  In the evenings, they could then stay comfortably in the van – the rest of us staggered back to our various B&Bs around Ironbridge!  They also were regular attendees of the meetings of the Newcomen Society in London – and the dinners which followed!


More locally, Tony was a member of Hampshire Mills Group and what is now Hampshire Industrial Archaeology Society.  This used to be called Southampton University Industrial Archaeology Society as it met there and was commonly known to Tony and many of us as ‘sewage’, as Tony used to pronounce SUIAG.  The current name of HIAS really does not have the same ring but Tony was still contributing short articles to the HIAS Journal on a variety of topics from snuff to treadwheels until last year.


Eleanor Yates

On social occasions, Tony would always drink a toast to “Your moderate health” (as he said he had a pharmacist’s business to keep going!).  I know that he contributed a tape to the oral history collections in Emsworth Museum about his life as a pharmacist from 1952 to 1986.


Tony’s other interest in things industrial was the production of cast iron grave markers.  We were all asked to take photographs of any that we found on holidays both at home and abroad and many of us puzzled local visitors by combing their graveyards for such items.  We were always a little worried, though, that Mary gave him one for his birthday many years ago, fortunately with no date on it, which he kept in the sitting room at the Mill.  The date has now been reached but he was able to enjoy it for many years!


Thanks to members of the family, Tony was able to keep up his attendance at meetings until nearly the very end and I last met him (and Jane) at the 50th anniversary meeting of the South-East Region Industrial Archaeology Conference in Worthing in 2017. 

His last AIA conference was the one held in Telford in 2016 and we have really missed him, as I am sure that all of you here will too.




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