20 March 2017 by Steve Eminton

Obituary: Tom Clarke, formerly of Interport

The death has been announced of Tom Clarke, former owner of the Interport Paper Company, and a well-known figure within the paper recycling sector.

Tom’s son Neil, who is managing director of Cheshire firm RecyclingUK, said that “after a short illness my Dad, Tom Clarke, sadly passed away on Saturday 11th March 2017.”

Tom Clarke, pictured at a recent The New Saints football team event

Adrian Jackson, president of the Recycling Association, said: “I was sad to hear the news of Tom Clarke’s passing. For many years Tom was a stalwart of the industry with wide experience of paper recycling. He was one of our sector’s true gentleman and I know he will be missed by many people.

“My condolences go out to all Tom’s family.”

Neil explained that his father was involved in the industry directly through his ownership of Interport Paper Company from 1973 to 1995.

“He became involved in the recycling industry by accident in 1973 when the three day week meant his engineering factory was redundant for the other three days, so on hearing that the local Bowater Paper Mill at Ellesmere Port was short of Waste Paper he built some cages to put on the delivery trucks and all the men went out door to door collecting around the Wirral on the three days the factory was closed.”

Waste paper

Neil recalled that within a few years the waste paper side of the business had grown to become the main business activity operating from Ellesmere Port and Gaerwen, Anglesey. The business continued to grow and also started supplying the export market.

Neil noted: “In the early 90s my dad was instrumental in taking over part of the business of Trident Waste Paper of Saltney, Chester and we purchased Paperchase Waste Paper Ltd of Wrexham  and re-located the business to a large site we purchased on Wrexham Industrial Estate. We also started a Security Shredding Company, Data Destruction North West.

“In 1995 we sold all the family group companies to UK Waste Ltd (now Biffa) which enabled my dad to ease off a little and retire as his health had been suffering for a few years. He still stayed in touch daily though and has always been there supporting Simon Marsden and I when we needed advice – and when we didn’t – after starting Recycling UK.”

Neil reflects that his dad didn’t really retire as a new chapter in his life started with his increased interest in racehorses. “He has had a fantastic 22 years looking after his interests in the UK and Cape Town and he has met many people who have become very close friends over the years. His biggest achievement was buying a horse called Cretan Gift at 11am on a Saturday morning and at 3pm it won the Ladbroke Silver Cup at Ayr.”


Happier times: Tom and his wife Corrine

And, he added: “My dad also spent many happy hours with his five grandchildren and recently two great grandchildren. Another love of his life was Everton Football Club where we have been season ticket holders for many years. He and my mum, Corrine, enjoyed going to virtually every game at home over the years. He also became a big follower this season of TNS FC/The New Saints and they held a minutes silence for him on Sunday before their Welsh Premier League game against Bala Town. He would have been so proud of that.”

The Funeral has been arranged for Tuesday 28th March 2017 at St Thomas and All Saints Church in Ellesmere Port. For more details, tel: 01829 732471 or email jayne@rukgroup.com.

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