Students and staff pay their respects to Mr Clark
Students and staff lined up as a mark of respect to Mr Clark as his funeral cortege passed through the school’s bus park. They stood in silence to honour their dearly loved and highly regarded Deputy Headteacher who made such an enormous contribution to so many at Richmond School and Sixth Form College and the wider community. The students all looked very smart, with the Sixth Form rugby team wearing their kit, a fitting tribute that acknowledged Mr Clark’s immense passion for rugby and how he inspired so many students to take up the game, as well as cycling and many other sporting activities.
Carl Tate, a former student, who was taught by Mr Clark, was privileged to lead the cortege. Carl also represented a number of staff and family members at John Blenkiron & Sons Funeral Directors, who knew or were taught by Mr Clark.
A piper played a poignant rendition of Flowers of the Forest, evoking an atmosphere of Mr Clark’s Scottish roots. Coincidentally, the slow air, composed by Lady Nairn, was written for the fallen Scots at the Battle of Flodden, which was not too far from Duns, Mr Clark’s birthplace. It was as if it was meant to be.
There was a large turnout of cyclists from Richmond Cycling Club who followed the cortege through the school grounds and onwards to the church. Mr Clark was a long-standing and popular member of the club and was often seen cycling up hill and down dale. Testament to the sense of loss in the community, there were also many former students, friends and members of the public lining the pavement outside the school.
Mrs Potter, Headteacher, said: “I am hugely thankful to our students who stood in silence to honour Mr Clark. They behaved impeccably and looked so smart – Mr Clark would have been incredibly proud of them. It was wonderful to see so many staff and sixth form students wearing tartan scarves, ties and even kilts. It was a fitting tribute and I believe it will help the students to process the loss of such a great man. There has been a huge outpouring of grief, following the untimely death of Mr Clark, and the school has been overwhelmed with messages of condolence which have been a genuine support to everyone.
There are a number of ideas which are being considered to create a lasting legacy to remember and recognise Mr Clark’s incredible contribution to Richmond School and the local community. These will be shared in due course.
I am greatly appreciative of all our staff, who have supported the students and each other through these very difficult days. The school is working with Just ‘B’ Bereavement support, a specialist bereavement service, to help support both students and staff during this challenging time.
Today we said goodbye to a very dear teacher, colleague and friend. It may be farewell but he will never be forgotten.”