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Alan Clarke: Landlord with a great personality
4:00pm Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
ALAN Clarke, who has died aged 60, was a lively character who ran The Horseshoe Inn in Bampton.
Mr Clarke, right, was born in Wales in 1953 but moved to Reading in Berkshire with his parents as a baby.
He started his career sweeping the floors at London’s Smithfield Market, the largest wholesale meat market in the UK, and worked his way up to run his own import and export business.
In 1988 Mr Clarke took over the George and Dragon in Bampton, before the spending time as the landlord of the Butcher’s Arms, in Sonning Common, near Reading.
In 1993 he was back in Bampton when he heard The Horseshoe Inn was available.
His offer was successful and he ran thepub for the past 20 years of his life.
Mr Clarke and his wife of 30 years – Kathy, nee Campbell, whom he met when she was training to be a nurse in Reading – were stalwart members of the local community and their pub was well-known for its welcome.
His good nature spread to neighbouring towns and villages and he was instrumental in helping Carterton raise funds for the memorial bell at the Oxfordshire Memorial Garden, to be rung during repatriation ceremonies for servicemen and women killed in action abroad.
Mr Clarke allowed his pub to be used for meetings.
Mr Clarke was a supporter of Morris dancers, who performed at the pub at Whitsun, and of The Society for the Preservation of Ancient Junketing (SPAJERS), which organises the popular annual Bampton shirt run to raise money for pensioners in the village.
He is survived by Kathy and children Sarah, 28, and Thomas, 27. He was due to give Sarah away at her wedding next year.
His funeral will be held tomorrow at St Mary’s Church in Bampton at 11am.
Family friend and Carterton mayor Lynn Little said: “I was very proud to call him one of my very best friends. He really was one of the best people you could imagine, such a big personality, a unique man, and it really is a tragedy. He will be missed.”
Mr Clarke died at home from an embolism on Monday, September 23.