Obituaries

Geoffrey James Clark

4th September 1946 – 5th January 2014

Geoff died at the turn of the year after a long illness borne with much courage and good grace. He had been a ringer for almost 60 years, having joined the tower at Barnwood as a young lad in the 1950s. His sister, Peggy, was already a member of the predominantly young band, which was bolstered by a few pre-war ringers. Geoff was later to become a popular tower captain and churchwarden at Barnwood.

It was through ringing that Geoff met his wife, Anne, as she was tower secretary at Haresfield whilst he held the same role at Barnwood. In those days the two towers were, socially, very close. Geoff was also a founder member of the Barnwood Handbell Ringers. It was whilst ringing handbells in the 1970s that Geoff first experienced the difficulties with his wrists which led to a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and the beginnings of his long illness.

Geoff, Anne and Roger moved to Bourton-on-the-Water in 1982 where Geoff was employed by Lloyds Bank; Andrew was born soon afterwards. They all became much involved in the life of the village. The local scout troop was a particular interest of Geoff’s (he had joined the cubs in Barnwood in the early 1950s) as was the tower. Geoff became treasurer of a number of organisations including The Friends of Bourton Hospital. He was instrumental in encouraging the newly formed team at Great Rissington when the bells were rehung there in 1991. All the while his illness was taking its toll, so much so that he was compelled to retire from the bank at the early age of 50. This did not prevent him from trying to keep his involvement with local organisations and charities. In fact he was still tower secretary at the time of his death despite not having been able to go up the tower for a number of years.

For some time he acted as independent examiner for the Gloucester and Bristol Association and, in his modest way, felt much honoured when he was elected as an honorary life member. He was delighted that his son, Andrew, took up ringing and went on to become a really proficient ringer.

He had a good sense of humour but the feature of his character which shone the brightest was his warmth and friendship. He was an extremely generous man with a genuine concern for the well being of others. He never had a bad word to say about anyone; he was a man who inspired real and rare affection and respect. In fact Steve Coleman summed it up so well in the footnote after the quarter peal at Bourton (in which Andrew rang) when he wrote “In grateful thanksgiving for the life of Geoff Clark, a thoroughly nice man”.

BRIAN MCBURNIE

Bourton-on-the-Water, Glos. 26 Jan, 1288 Call Changes: Steve Coleman (C) 1, Roger Woodley 2, Stephanie Hemming 3, Brian McBurnie 4, Andy Clark 5, Roger Jones 6, Rob Kilbey 7, Sue Coleman 8. In grateful thanksgiving for the life of Geoff Clark, ringer at Bourton-on-the-Water, honorary life member of the Gloucester & Bristol Association, and thoroughly nice man.

Beeston, Notts. 26 Jan, 1296 Stedman Triples: Elizabeth Dennison 1, Leah Wignell 2, Kathryn Smith 3, Katy Idle 4, Tim Poole (C) 5, Andrew Jackson 6, Duncan McBurnie 7, Brian Walton 8. Arranged and rung in memory of Geoff Clark, Godfather of 5 and close family friend of 7, two days after his funeral in Bourton-on-the-Water.

Great Rissington, Glos. 30 Jan, 1260 Stedman Doubles: Keith Murphy 1, Steve Coleman (C) 2, Sue Coleman 3, Jeremy Meyrick 4, John Nicholls 5, Rob Kilbey 6. In grateful thanksgiving for the life of Geoff Clark, ringer at Bourton-on-the-Water and honorary life member of the Gloucester & Bristol Association.

Barnwood, Glos. 1 Feb, 1260 Grandsire Triples: Steve Coleman (C) 1, Sue Page 2, Richard Page 3, Brian McBurnie 4, Keith Durrant 5, Neil Amphlett 6, Keith Poole 7, Robin Screen 8. In grateful thanksgiving for the life of Geoff Clark, formerly tower captain of Barnwood and honorary life member of the Gloucester & Bristol Association.

Barnwood, Glos. 23 Feb, 1260 Grandsire Triples: Ben Gooch 1, Frances Mulvey 2, Steve Coleman (C) 3, Brian McBurnie 4, Sue Coleman 5, Roger Fry 6, Charlie Burnett 7, Michael Mulvey 8. In grateful thanksgiving for the life of Geoff Clark, formerly tower captain of Barnwood and honorary life member of the Gloucester & Bristol Association.

£15

BB BellBoard
CC
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers