Frank Clarke – R.I.P
IN LOVING MEMORY OF FRANK CLARKE
A Tribute from Mike Cafferkey
I first met Frank 63 years ago In 1957, on a building site in Manchester, amongst hundreds of other workers. From that day on we became the best of friends, then several months later we both settled with work, In Colwyn Bay. In 1963 it was a big freeze, all building work was shut down due to severe frost & ice, myself & Frank where the two only men in the trade in North Wales to carry on working, as at the time we were cutting into the rocks for those services. Thank Goodness for the metal drum we used for a fire we made to keep us warm when having our brews.
It was shortly after we moved to Colwyn Bay, North Wales that we met our future wives Rita & Mary and we went on to have our families and for the last 56 years have lived opposite each other on Dundonald Road, and for the most of them years we worked together as a team, We were never a day without work and never a cross word between us. If I had to have chosen someone for a life long friend I couldn’t have chosen a better man than Frank.
A Tribute from Wally Williams & Family
Moving over from Ireland, Frank went to Manchester for work, the dates are unknown. In 1959 Frank Moved to North Wales and worked for the kennedy group laying cables at Trawsfynydd Powerstation Frank then worked laying drains and roads for Gorse & Sons in 1960 alongside Mike Cafferkey and his two brothers. Frank lodged in Park road, Colwyn Bay for sometime, Frank met Rita at St. Josephs, community hall in Colwyn Bay were they held dances on a Sunday night.
Frank asked Wally if he could borrow his old ford car so that he could take Rita out for a date, what dad forgot to tell Frank was that the brakes on the car were not great and when Frank picked up Rita from the Glyn estate, coming down the steep hill he couldn’t stop and shot straight across the main road and through Eirias park main gates. A date they’ll never forget and they laughed about it later, Frank didn’t borrow the car again the car roof leaked and Rita had to put up an umbrella in the car. Frank spent many times in the Legion Colwyn Bay, playing darts with Mike Cafferkey, which is where dad met up with them especially on a rainy day when work sites were closed Rita and her sister Gwen were not impressed.
Rita and Frank married at St. Joseph’s church in January 1962 and their first child Mike was born in the same year, followed by Paula, Angela & Sarah. Rita and Frank lived in the basement flat at 11 Dundonald Road in 1962 and In 1963 bought the house at 29 Dundonald Road, where they still reside to this date, 57 years in all, many people have moved on over the years but the Clarke family, the Williams family and Mike Cafferkey are still residents and now so do Rita and Franks daughters Paula and Angela.
We have had numerous family gatherings and holidays together over the years, too many to mention Rita and Frank were great hosts and so much fun and Frank’s measures were not small.
A Tribute from Harley
My grandad has always been an important figure in all of our lives, all of the grand children have always looked up to him (Adam, Tom, Chloe, Rhian, Josh and myself) All of us used to love spending time staying over at grandma’s and grandads when younger, we would all get loads of sweets and be spoilt rotten but one night was enough for grandad and grandma we definitely wore them out. I remember grandads naturally gifted humour, always telling us all funny stories for hours on end and we’d always want to know more but what shone through more than anything was his true passion for his home of Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, Ireland, He’d always talk about it he was so proud and happy when talking about all of his memories there, he really did love everything to do with his Irish roots. We’d often go over and visit all our amazing family over in Ireland as much as we could, I remember the first time visiting when I was small must of been in either 2007 or 2008 now, where I was helping drive the big tractor on the farm with uncle Mike from Ireland and when me and Rhian would go and see the horses and feed them with Maud, Mum, Pauline and with both Mary’s.
There were endless memories, I remember too when we went on holidays with grandma and grandad to Portugal but overall I think the most memorable and important memories to everyone, were all our family gatherings or events we all shared together, whether that be in Colwyn Bay, North Wales or Gurteen, Ballyhaunis, we’d all be celebrating, laughing and drinking together and enjoying these moments we look back on and now cherish. A key moment which I remember was when Grandad had too much to drink and he fell in the pond, we all found it hilarious but Grandma’s face, well.. She wasn’t too impressed by the look of it, I could go on and on with all the endless amounts of amazing memories I spent with you, which I’ll always have and never forget we will all remember the amazing times we spent with you. You were a honourable, caring, dedicated, kind and strong person who everyone absolutely adored, you weren’t just my grandad, but my best friend. I could always tell you everything and you’d always tell me the truth about what you thought and it would usually always turn out to be the right decision, I know you want me to finish my photography degree and I will complete it in your honour, especially for you and I’ll raise a toast to you when completed, I know you’ll be there watching from the skies forever looking down on us all, Always thinking of you. I’ll make you proud, we all will.
A Tribute from Ronnie
It is difficult at best to write a eulogy for someone you have known for over 30 years, someone I have never had an argument with or even fell out with, Frank (Dad) A strong man always never forgot where he came from which was Ballyhaunis, He was born in Ireland. Am sure he was given a shovel & pick to play with because he used it all his working life.
He was kind, he was more than fair, he was so loving and caring to all the family and close family here and in Ireland, Ballyhaunis, he worked hard for everything he did and he never allowed himself to do a job wrong, that wasn’t in his nature. He loved his garden, his pond and his concrete shed which he built, his small allotment too.
I loved the times I spent with Dad chatting about the family, jobs, football and cars all sorts really, especially building projects to put things I’ve done wrong right! Even till the end he was giving me advice, back in the day he always had a nice car outside, loved driving around, coming to see us with Rita (Mum) always wanting to know what was happening. He liked to have a good time at family parties chatting and drinking the good stuff (whisky) and the red stuff, always wanting to stay till the end not worrying about the next day because that could wait. It’s very sad that you’re gone now but you’re with family and friends. I will always remember you Frank (Dad) because they’ll never be another one to replace you.
Rest in peace.
A Tribute from Josh
My Grandad fell to sleep for one last time, I came in for one last chat with you because that’s what we loved to do, I’ll never meet anyone like you grandad you were so special to me and all of the family, you were always there for us, I’ll miss laughing at your great sense of humour, I’ve always wanted to make you proud and make you smile I promise I’ll do that for you ☘ rest easy grandad 💚