Welcome to Paul Clarke's Home Page
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Neil has been back in the UK since mid-2000, after a few years teaching in Spain. He's now working in local government the South of England where, we are pleased to observe, he appears very happy and settled with Kelly. It's very pleasant down there, though a tad expensive and too far from Upper Denby. Twins were born to Neil and Kelly in December 2012 - congratulations!!
Stephen, who has a BSc (2.1 grade) in Geography from Southampton University is now in Cali, the third largest city in Colombia, teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL). Steve visited us in July/August 2008 with his very beautiful Colombian girlfriend Vanessa (we then realised what was detaining him in Cali)! Colombia is a wonderful country and it's such a pity that it is so relatively impoverished on account of various factors - but things seem to be improving. We saw Steve again in December 2009, for Christmas. He married Vanessa in June 2010 and they came over for their honeymoon on 2nd July (via Paris!) and went back to Colombia on 2nd August 2010 (sadly). He came again in October 2010 to see his terminally ill mother and again in November for her funeral (what an awful reason for coming). He came again in December 2010 for a week over Christmas (the family assembled in Brighton for the season - sadly, and for the first time ever, without our beloved wife, mother and grandmother, Margaret). Finally we saw him in mid-2011 but he'll not be here again until 2013 probably (fares in mid-2012 are very expensive because of the Olympics). Sadly - and this is now public knowledge - Steve and Vanessa's marriage hasn't lasted. Hard to say how sorry I am about that. Still, he's setting off on a long biking holiday in August 2013 and I hope he's OK!
Helen, who has a BSc (2.1 grade) in Social Psychology, having studied at the University of Kent in Canterbury, is now the mother of Jonah, born on the 5th of August 2003 - so she won't be working at a full time job for a while (though she's building up a career in various ways and is undertaking various studies). She's now living in 'down south' and is enjoying herself greatly, but is finding motherhood no joke (J is a bright lad and seems to have a mind of his own - more so as he gets older - indeed he's now exhibiting a full-blown version of the Clarke family's tendency towards eccentricity)!! He's now heavily into football and having a go at running (he raised nearly £100 sponsorship for a good cause recently by running the first mile of the Brighton Marathon). They went on holiday to Colombia to see Steve for Xmas/New Year 2011/2. We've all met up twice or three times so far during 2012 - good to see the family. Helen had her second child, Leo, in May 2013.
Margaret, tragically for all of us, contracted a terminal brain tumour in mid-2009. She died in October 2010. It was good that she was able to see newly-weds Stephen and Vanessa in July 2010 and to see all her close family and friends immediately before she died. OBITUARY FOR MY BELOVED AND STILL GREATLY MISSED WIFE, MARGARET CLARKE
I left the employ of Allianz Cornhill Insurance at the end of January 2003 to spend more time with my other interests and to do part-time surveying work for a variety of organisations on a 'paid per job' consultancy basis. SO, IF ANYBODY WANTS THE SERVICES OF AN EXTREMELY EXPERIENCED RISK CONTROL SURVEYOR WHO HAS OVER 40 YRS EXPERIENCE WORKING FOR VARIOUS MAJOR INTERNATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANIES, PLEASE MAKE CONTACT! C.V AVAILABLE ON REQUEST. So far, working part time as a consultant has been a sight more interesting (and more rewarding on a per-job basis!) than working full time for a single firm. It's given me a new lease of life, but instead of 'retiring' I'm finding myself pretty busy. I seem to spend as much time doing IT support for various people (free of charge!) as I do working!!! Sadly, following Margaret's untimely death, I'm now living alone for the first time in almost 40 years - not enjoying it one tiny bit as it's pretty lonely on your own (but that's life as they say and I can't see any way around it at the moment, if ever). Still, I went to Spain in late April/early May 2013 and enjoyed staying with Chris Linskill, old school friend and best man at our wedding in 1975.
We (Paul and Margaret) had a very enjoyable family-only 30th wedding anniversary 'open house' event back in August 2005 (now a very distant happy memory)! Delighted that some of the Day family (my mother's side) were able to come, as well as the Reynolds contingent (Margaret's side). No Clarkes present, unfortunately (apart from our own offspring and grandson). Most close relatives on the Clarke side of things are now dead (this seems to be the end of the line for the Clarke family from Roborough and High Bickington, near Bideford, in Devon). Had an enjoyable trip to Austria in April 2007, when we saw some of Margaret's family who live in Vienna and I took part in two concerts given by Huddersfield Choral Society in Brno Cathedral (Czech Republic). In September 2007 we had an excellent week in the Lake District. Pleasant family Christmas 2007 with Neil, Jonah and Helen (no Steve this time), though most of us got a gastric bug!! We went to Spain for a walking holiday in early Spring 2008. Steve and Vanessa came to the UK in the summer of 2008 and we enjoyed a brief and enjoyable (if wet!) holiday in the Lake District. Our holiday abroad scheduled for August 2009 had to be cancelled because of Margaret's sudden and entirely unforeseen illness/operation. We hadn't a care in the world in early August 2009...but... Anyway, Steve and Vanessa (now married) enjoyed another holiday in the Lake District in July 2010, though Margaret was too ill to be there. Steve came again in October 2010 to see his very ill mum and again for her funeral in early November. 2010 was by far the worst year of my life (and Margaret's life of course) so far. At least she's now out of her suffering - which is the only consoling thought I can summon up at the moment. Christmas was very different in 2010 and the family (minus Margaret, sadly) spent it in Brighton at Helen's. Steve came over from Colombia on his own and returned on New Year's Eve. Good to see everyone, but things were very different at Xmas 2011 because Helen and Jonah went across to Colombia to see Steve for 5 weeks - a good time had by all.
*** CLICK ARROW ABOVE to watch The Great Birthday Cake film!! (You need to allow ActiveX controls in your browser for it to work)***
** (More photos follow shortly) **
** Click here for the photographs taken in UK- Spring 2008**
**Click here to view some shots in Photobucket of our holiday in Spain - March 2008** (there are various selectable viewing options including slideshow)
** Click here to VIEW some of my photos on the FLICKR photo-sharing website!** (there is also an option to view as a slideshow)
** Click here for photos taken at our 30th Wedding Anniversary family 'do' in August 2005**
Visit by grandson Jonah in April 2008 (photo taken by Margaret)
Margaret out walking near Penistone May 2008 (breaks my heart that she died in 2010 - we can no longer enjoy walks together)
See below photographs relating to my former primary school - All Saints Church of England Junior Mixed School, Sutherland Road, Sheffield 4 - which opened in 1872 and (sadly) closed in 1969. The class photograph of Junior 4 was taken in 1954, when we were about to leave for "higher things". These photographs were kindly supplied by my very good friend and fellow pupil (since the age of five!), Eric Aston.
The buildings of my old school ('alma mater') on Orchard Lane, Sheffield, have now become part of the prestigious Leopold Square wining and dining development.
Of interest are : OMNES AMICI - the Sheffield City Grammar School Alumni Website. and also Friends Reunited (which has a section covering the school). The only very well known 'old boy' is Roy Hattersley, the former Labour MP (now Lord Hattersley). However, other contemporaries of mine have done particularly well (though I've not seen many of them for 50 years) - such as Roger Singleton, who recently became 'Sir Roger Singleton CBE'! There are many other contacts and items of information on the Omnes Amici and Friends Reunited websites. .I've been in touch all the time with Eric Aston, Jeanette Attwood, David Seton and Chris Linskill (indeed Chris was the best man at our wedding in 1975).
During 2003/2004, thanks to the power of the internet, a lot of the 'old lags' were traced and an excellent gathering of the clans took place in Rotherham (well, it had to be somewhere -so why not?) at the end of April 2004. Christine Brown, Valerie Duckworth and Philip Wright (Lord Wright of Kelham Island, as we affectionately refer to him), together with others "too numerous to mention", did lots of hard work to bring this about and we are enormously grateful to them all. Details of this 50th anniversary reunion (1954 - 2004) are on the Omnes Amici website, including various photographs.
The Sheffield City Grammar School Phoenix badge/logo - worn on the bottle-green caps and blazers!
Holmfirth Choral Society - a local choir to which we belong (I also do the website).
Sheffield Oratorio Chorus - an excellent choir also based in Sheffield, to which I belong.Denby Dale Walkers are Welcome group's website (I'm the webmaster)
The Ramblers Association's National Website (working for the interests of walkers and lovers of the countryside).
Denby Dale Parish Walking Group, a local organisation of which I'm a member and webmaster. The site includes walk dates/details.
Some other interesting musical links are:-
The Sterndale Singers,an excellent chamber choir based in Sheffield, of which I was a member during the 1980s and still going strong (recently celebrated its 25th anniversary).
Gerontius Net - Another excellent new music-related website, including a music-hire database, concerts database and much more.
The Choral Public Domain Library - an incredible database and library of freely-downloadable and freely-performable non-copyright music.
John's downloadable mid-file Choral Music Site - an excellent source of FREE rehearsal aids for choral singers, with links to some other similar sites.
The Music Room - a further excellent musical events/listings (etc.) website run by Chris Tradgett (a choral singer/composer) and well worth exploring.
Also some interesting non-musical links:-
The Campaign for Real Ale ; CAMRA is a cause very dear to my heart (excellent 'traditional' British ale is one of the most important things in life)!!
RAW - Residents Against Windfarm - An organisation strongly opposing the proposal to erect a windfarm in one of the most scenically attractive parts of the Denby Dale area.
Denby Parish Community Action Group - The combined communtity association of Denby, Birdsedge and High Flatts.
Amnesty International (UK section)
The Coffee-Beer Home Page. A fascinating website run by an American who now lives in Sheffield, England and appreciates our Good Beer, Good Pubs, Good Coffee and even Good Marmite!! Interesting, amusing, witty, informative and well worth exploring.
MY YORKSHIRE (Celebrating all that's best in God's County)!!
GEOGRAPH - a fascinating website which has photos of just about everywhere in the British Isles.
Further details follow as time allows!
Click on this link to send an email to Paul Clarke
Thank you for visiting - please call again! Site last updated 16th July 2013