Obituary: Mr W. R. Barke

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Mr. William Reginald (Bill) Barke has died at Scalford Court Care Home, Melton Mowbray, aged 88 years.

He was born at The Coffee House, Bottesford, the son of Reginald and Alice Barke and brother to Gwen.

Mr Barke enjoyed country life and animals, especially horses, helping on a farm across the road from his family home. He attended school at Bottesford and later Melton Mowbray Grammar School.

His started his first job in 1940 as a clerk with the London and North Eastern Railway at Nottingham. He joined the army in April 1943 and after training in Plymouth and the Cairngorms, landed in France and worked through to Belgium including a spell guarding the docks at Ostend. He later served briefly in India and before moving onto Malaya where he supervised military railway operations. After being demobbed in 1947, he returned to the railways at Radcliffe on Trent and later transferred to Nottingham.

He met Dorothy Pearson from Stathern and they were married in 1953. Their home for 50 years was Windyridge at Plungar – a small holding where they kept pigs and poultry which he looked after before and after work. He also grew fruit and vegetables in the garden.

They had two children, a son Ian, followed by a daughter Valerie. Bill retired in 1982 from the position of head of the special services section of the Nottingham Division of British Railways.

In his retirement he and Dorothy enjoyed days out. They had three grandchildren – James, Emma and Elizabeth. Bill enjoyed village activities, especially whist drives, and for a number of years he was a member of Plungar Horticultural Society and the Harby branch of the Royal British Legion.

In April 2003 Bill and Dorothy celebrated their Golden Wedding and moved to a bungalow in the Paddocks, Bottesford, the next year.

The burial took place at Toft’s Hill cemetery, Stathern after a service at St. Helen’s Church, Plungar. The services were conducted by Rev Frederick Connell.

Family mourners included: Ian and Anne Barke, William and Louise Donger, James and Emma Donger, Beryl Smith, Pam Powell, Peter and Rita Clay, Steven and Sarah Sowerby, Barbara Hull, Mark and Margaret Hull, Rachael, Hana and Femi Hull and Ernest Vines.

Other mourners included: Richard and Elaine Pell, Barbara and Vicky Kemp, Pat Norris, Ian Norris, Helen Smith, Mrs B Newman, Mr A Barratt, Ann Cardwell, Mrs Sandra Carlton, Fred Smart, Richard H Donger, Geoff Donger, Bob Taylor, John and Ann Moulsher, Mr and Mrs D Welbourn, Brian Milnes, Mary Moulds, Mrs Ann Hicks, K M Booth, Eileen Marriott, John Carey, Mrs Joyce Fox, Miss E Scarborough, Bill and Pamela Shipman, Muriel Cooke, David and Jayne Tyson, Helen Bartlett, Mick Hodges, Susan Luger, Betty Moulds, Jane and Michael Kilby, Alan Reed, Dennis and Joan Kirk, Mr John Holmes, Stephen Young, Peter and Elaine Holmes, Elizabeth and Gerald Hourd, and Margaret Langton.

Funeral arrangements were by William Roberts and Sons of Devon Lane, Bottesford. Donations for cancer research amount to £629.50 to date.