September 1995 – October 1998
Invicta Media Productions Limited
Video and multimedia production for education, training and corporate markets.
This was an opportunity to support two friends, Ian Killbery and Ilsa Rowe, in a spin-off / start-up company which has at core a passion for learning foreign languages and associated cultures.
Projects and partnerships included the British Council, Goethe-Institut, Spanish Embassy, Eurotunnel and various departments in Kent County Council.
The German language learning video packs, and much more, are available from www.earlystart.co.uk [opens in new window]
A cross-Channel tourism initiative, part-funded by the European Commission Regional Development Fund, generated a website called theotherside.co.uk This project has concluded and the website closed.
It became necessary to look for a new opportunity for two prime and linked reasons. The business was not going to provide the salary and security I felt I needed. Also, I didn’t have clear and distinct enough contribution to make in the production process. It was a frustrating and yet instructive period where much was possible but just not within a shared purpose. I learned more about myself and the role of selling in a commercial context. I think of this as confirming that conviction and disguising uncertainty was not really me.
Having helped get Invicta Media Productions underway, and it still is as Early Start, I turned my attention to the world starting to commute to London working for the
Update September 2021
Ian Killbery – 1947-2021
I was saddened to hear of Ian Killbery’s death. Ian was a key inspiration in my early career in and beyond Kent. He had enthusiasm for an impressive range of interests. Later, I admired his tremendous fortitude regarding his health. My condolences to Ilsa and Sammy.
Initially, Ian was a grammar school economics teacher and then he became Director of the Kent Education Television Centre in Dover. I worked with him as part of the Kent Geography Working Group of the Kings College Chelsea Computers in the Curriculum Project. KETV did some video work for the Channel tunnel curriulum development project. With great skill Ian initiated different projects and diversified KETV and fought off the threats of closure by Kent County Council. When that finally happened he set up a new company, Invicta Media, with a colleague, Ilsa Rowe, which lead to Early Start Languages which continues. Ian had many interests: local government with spells as a District councillor, railways, the environment and he championed Crabble Corn Mill.
Tribute to Ian Killbery in Kent Online
Reproduced here to avoid the hideous Kent Online website.
Tributes to trains campaigner and former Deal councillor Ian Killbery who has died aged 74
By Sam Lennon firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: 28 September 2021 | Updated: 29 September 2021
Tributes have been paid to the man who successfully led a campaign to bring High Speed trains to Deal.
Ian Killbery, a former town and district councillor, died suddenly, having suffered years of bad health.
He battled for the fast trains to stop at the town after the service was introduced in December 2009 and that happened partially in 2011 and finally with an all-day and daily service in 2014.
That year he and fellow campaigner, Tom Rowland, were awarded the Railfuture User Group Gold Award for their efforts. The task was carried out through the pressure group Trains4Deal. [opens in new tab]
Mr Rowland now said: “It was Ian who spearheaded the campaign, who pointed out the injustice and quantified the damage to the local economy.
“He built up a highly effective local campaign, recruiting a talented team and after a four year battle, the Kent rail franchise was amended and the fast trains stopped in Deal.
“He will be missed so much by his family, colleagues and friends.”
“He was always professional and courteous.”
Sandwich town councillor Paul Carter said: “I knew Ian for at least 20 years and worked with him on many transportation and environmental projects in Deal and Sandwich.
“He was always a professional and courteous man who spent so much of his time on community based issues to make living in this part of Kent a much better experience. He will be sadly missed by so many.”
Cllr Michael Conolly, chairman of Dover District Council, said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former councillor Ian Killbery, and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”
Mr Killbery, who was in long term poor health, died at his home in Western Road, Deal, on Monday, September 20 ,aged 74.
He was a lifelong member of the Labour Party and served as a Dover district councillor for the Middle Deal ward from 1973 to 1991 and again from 1995 to 1999.
He was also a Deal town councillor where he was leader of the Labour majority for a time. This was also for Middle Deal from 1999 to 2007 and for North Deal from 2012 to 2015.
Ian Killbery was born in Portsmouth on February 1, 1947.
He was the the son of a Labour city councillor and dockyard worker. Mr Killbery was the first student from his school, then the Southern Grammar School for Boys, to go to Oxford University.
He won an open scholarship to Wadham College to read politics, philosophy and economics.
Mr Killbery began his career as a teacher, first in the north of England, then moving to Deal in the early 1970s to take up a post teaching economics at Dover Grammar School for Boys.
He was seconded to Kings College London to be part of a team developing early computer aided learning materials for schools, the precursor of the online learning tools now.
Mr Killbery continued to develop new ways of using technology to bring children’s lessons to life in his later role as Director of Kent Educational Television.
In 1994, he was diagnosed with kidney failure, took early retirement and began the first years of dialysis treatment followed by a kidney transplant in 1997.
At the same time, Mr Killbery and his partner Ilsa Rowe set up a new company, Early Start Languages, to promote the teaching of foreign languages in primary schools.
“We will bring his visions to life.”
Their reputation of over 25 years has been built upon engaging films, featuring real French, Spanish and German children at home, at school and out and about in their communities.
Mr Killbery also suffered sight loss and despite having to shield during the height of the pandemic he continued to work and take an active part in local affairs.
Most recently he helped to plan and develop the White Cliffs Community Rail Partnership, which was launched on July 2 this year at Sandwich Railway Station.
The date of the celebration was chosen to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the electrification of Kent’s rail network.
Although very fragile Mr Killbery join the celebrations and travelled with the official party from Deal to Sandwich by train rather than by car.
WCCRP chairman Cllr Oliver Richardson said: “Ian was a very passionate member of our steering group.
“We will honour him by continuing to work hard and ensure we have a successful Community Rail Partnership and bring his visions to life.”
Deal Town Council revealed that it had held a minute’s silence for Mr Killbery at its last full meeting.
Mayor Chris Turner told Kent Online: “Ian was an enthusiastic campaigner for the High Speed service to Deal and Sandwich. ” His knowledge of local transport issues was the reason the Deal Town Council transport and infrastructure committee was keen to co-opt him again in 2019.
“Councillors remember him with affection and respect for the contributions he made to the life of Deal.”
Cllr Ben Bano, a long term Labour colleague of Mr Killbery added “He will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace.”
Mr Killbery was also chairman of the Dover District Cycle Forum and sat on the Spokes East Kent Cycle Campaign Committee.
He was instrumental in creating the Skylark Trail – an alternative quiet cycle route between Deal and Dover following the tragic road death of 18 year old cyclist Daniel Squire on the Dover Road.
Mr Killbery is survived by Ms Rowe who was his partner of 30 years, their 16-year-old son Sammy plus his grown- up children Martin, Stephen and Emma.
He also leaves five grandchildren, James, Alex, Jude, Milly and Jasmin.