Barbara Clarke (nee Oaten)
BRISTOL born and bred, Barbara Joyce Lillian Clarke was born in Kings Square Avenue, Stokes Croft. As a young child, the family moved to Brighton Street, St Paul's. Whilst living there and aged 11 her brother John was born. They both enjoyed a loving childhood with their parents Harry and Mabel Oaten.
As a teenager she attended St Barnabas School, St Paul's, where she first met Maurice, her childhood sweetheart. After excelling at school, she first started work as a hat maker and seamstress. After further education at secretarial school, she moved to J Bollom's as a shorthand typist before soon being promoted to personal secretary to John Bollom.
In her early 20s, she married Maurice in January 1950. They began life as husband and wife in Richmond Road, Montpelier, and started their family. First born was Jill, followed two years later by John.
In 1958 they took over the tenancy of The Old England public house in Montpelier, which they called home for 31 years. During this time they had a third child Sarah.
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As landlord and landlady at The Old England they witnessed many changes in the pub and its clientele, going from a typically quiet local pub in the 1950s, to a predominantly Irish clientele when the motorways came to Bristol in the 1960s, and then in the 1970s to a Flower Power/Bohemian clientele, which it still is to date.
During their tenure, the watering hole became one of Bristol's busiest and most popular pubs, due to Mr and Mrs Clarke's hard work, warm welcome, popularity and big personalities.
After Mr Clarke's early death in 1986, Mrs Clarke retired to Berkeley Road, Bishopston, and had a full and eventful retirement. Her many interests included dressmaking, spoiling her grandchildren and travelling, mainly by sea, which she had intended to do with her husband.
Mrs Clarke kept in good health until the last few years of her life, when the first 80 years caught up with her. For the last 12 months she had been living with and cared for by Jill and Sarah.
The funeral will take place on Monday at Horfield Parish Church at 2.15pm.