Tributes paid to former Stevenage mayor who served his community for 47 years

Former Stevenage Borough Council Robert Clark passed away on Friday.

Former Stevenage Borough Council Robert Clark passed away on Friday. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a former Stevenage mayor who died on Friday, and who served the town tirelessly for 47 years.

Bob Clark passed away at the town’s Lister Hospital at the age of 85 after a heart attack. He had also been suffering from dementia.

His widow Fay said: “He was a kind man and very thoughtful. He cared about people.

“It didn’t matter who it was, he would sort them out. He would never let anybody down.”

Bob was a lifelong Labour Party supporter and moved to Stevenage with Fay in 1958 to work as a draughtsman for English Electric, which later became BAE Systems.

He had a passion for politics and he finally decided to take the plunge and stand for election in 1963.

After winning that vote, he continued to serve people in Pin Green, Shephall and Martins Wood for nearly five decades.

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He was the town’s mayor twice, and also served as a member of Herts County Council.

Among his achievements was finding premises and securing funding for day centre and respite service Crossroads Care Hertfordshire North.

Current Shephall borough councillor Ann Webb met Bob in 1979 and remembers his passion for local issues. She said: “He was just terrific. He was very active and always trying to do something for the people of Stevenage. He never stopped.”

But Bob never mixed his professional and private lives. Fay, 81, said: “He never brought politics home with him.

“In the early days he used to come in at midnight sometimes because the meetings finished so late, but we never talked about what went on.

“They were totally separate parts of his life, and he was a great father to our four children.”

Councillor Sharon Taylor, who is Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said: “We are all greatly saddened by the news that our friend Bob Clark has died.

“He was one of Stevenage’s founding fathers and was universally respected by friends and fellow councillors. “I know I speak for all of them when I say that he will be sorely missed.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Bob’s wife Fay, and the rest of the family at this sad time.”

This work carried on even after Bob developed dementia, and he only stood down at the elections in May..

Anyone who knew Bob is invited to his funeral which takes place at Howard Park Crematorium from 1.15pm on Friday, October 16.

The family ask that people don’t bring flowers and instead make donations to Wisden Court Day Centre, which Bob used to visit.