In memoriam Tom Clarke

Written by: Neil Clarke | Published:

Neil Clarke of UK Recycling remembers his father, Tom Clarke, who sadly passed away earlier this month.

After a short illness my dad, Tom Clarke sadly passed away on 11 March 2017 very peacefully with myself, my mum and three of his grandchildren - Michelle, David and Jayne comforting him. The last 24 hours were lovely for him and even though he was heavily sedated we played all his favourite music and he acknowledged us at times. We also talked about his life and family and we cried and laughed in equal measure. He is at peace now.

My dad was involved in the industry directly through his ownership of Interport Paper Company from 1973 to 1995. He became involved in the recycling industry by accident in 1973 when the three-day week meant his engineering factory was redundant for the other three days so on hearing that the local Bowater Paper Mill at Ellesmere Port was short of waste paper he built some cages to put on the delivery trucks and all the men went out door-to-door collecting around the Wirral on the three days the factory was closed.

Within a few years the waste paper side of the business had grown to become the main business activity operating from Ellesmere Port and Gaerwen, Anglesey.

The Bowater factory at Ellesmere Port closed in 1980 and became Consolidated Bathurst a few years later, but that did not stop us. My father expanded by having a new purpose-built site constructed in 1982. We joined IWPPA/IWPP and became active members. The business expanded substantially by supplying all over the UK, but also by selling into Holland and Germany through an agency agreement with Richard Paulusma and Leoreitsma BV (Now Huhtamaki). We also started exporting New KLS in containers to India on a weekly basis which was fun in the mid-80s.

In the early 90s my dad was instrumental in taking over part of the business activities of Trident Waste Paper of Saltney Chester. And we purchased outright Paperchase Waste Paper of Wrexham and re-located the business to a large site we purchased on Wrexham Industrial Estate. We also started a Security Shredding Company Data Destruction North West.

In 1995 we sold all the family group companies to UK Waste (now Biffa) which enabled my dad to ease off a little and retire as his health had been suffering for a few years. He still stayed in touch daily though and has always been there supporting Simon Marsden and I when we needed advice (and when we didn’t) after starting Recycling UK.

He didn’t really retire as a new chapter in his life started with his increased interest in Racehorses. He has had a fantastic 22 years looking after his interests in the UK and Cape town and he has met many people who have become very close friends over the years. His biggest achievement was buying a horse called Cretan Gift at 11am on a Saturday morning and at 3pm it won the Ladbrook Silver Cup at Ayr. He also stayed in touch with many in the recycling industry through my continuing business interests and loved attending various golf tournaments and lunches etc. organised within the industry.

He has also spent many happy hours with his five grandchildren and recently two great grandchildren. Another love of his life was Everton Football Club where we have been season ticket holders for many years. He and mum enjoyed going to virtually every game at home over the years. He also became a big follower this season of TNS FC/The New Saints. He loved watching their games with us all and they always made a fuss of him. They held a minute's silence for him before their Welsh Premier League game against Bala Town. He would have been so proud of that.


The funeral has been arranged for Tuesday, 28 March 2017

13:00 hrs Service at St Thomas and All Saints Church, Whitby Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire CH65 6UW. Parking on site and municipal car parks 500 yards away on civic way.

13:45 hrs Burial at Overpool Cemetery Rossmoor Road East, Ellesmere Port Cheshire CH66 1LG. All welcome or if you prefer please join us at Chester Racecourse.

14:30 hrs My mum would like to invite all to a Celebration of my dad's life at The Long Room, The County Stand, Chester Racecourse. Chester CH1 2LY

At the car park/course entrance please mention the funeral and then turn left for parking in front of the grandstand.

Beverages/Drinks from 14:00hrs and food from 15:30hrs to 18:00hrs.

Can all attending please let us know so we can plan catering either by email to jayne@rukgroup.com or telephone 01829732471 office hours and register your names with whoever answers or to me by phone, messenger or WhatsApp.

Donations in lieu of flowers to "Mayfield Amenity Fund" please. The local Mayfield home is close to my Mums heart and is a centre caring for people with Dementia and where my Mum volunteers her services every week. Mum and Dad have always tried to help them over the years. Cheques can be handed to the undertakers on the day or posted to RUK Group. No 10 Portal Business Park. CW6 9DL

Alternatively donations can be made on the day in cash and will be shared between the Mayfield home and St Thomas's Church.


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