Clive Allen: 6th June 1947 to 25th May 2020
Denise Allen, wife of Clive Allen, writes:
“I announced Clive’s death on Facebook and set up a ‘much loved’ webpage. Clive was gentle by nature, had a sunny disposition, cheeky grin and his smile would light up any room. Clive’s death left a void in the hearts of everyone who knew and loved him.
“Clive’s friends remember him for his welcoming smile and gleeful sense of mischief. His kindness and gentleness, and always fun to be around. Clive was a character, all who met him would say what a top bloke he was. At Hartley Ale, Clive is remembered by the women as one of the kindest and cuddliest men they ever had the privilege to know. Never a dull moment with Clive around. Kept everyone smiling. Clive was larger than life and that he lived to the full.
“Morris dancing played a large part of our lives together. Working out our diaries used to be interesting as at anyone time we were in 3 sides together plus our original teams. Mine being Fleet and Clive’s Kennet MM making 5 to juggle dates around.
“We met when I joined the North West team Hart & Sole in 1987. Iffy, a border side first danced out with Dublin City Morris Easter 1989, which is when Clive & I became soulmates. Iffy also performed in Belgium and Hollard.
“We were both in Windsor Morris, Clive drumming & me dancing, and us both dancing in Rockhopper a mixed Cotswold side who perform hankie dances from the Raglan tradition and stick dances of our own Rockhopper tradition.
“We enjoyed dancing holidays. Galway to learn Irish set dancing and Sweden to master the Polska. Morris holidays were Sidmouth, Saddleworth, Whitby. Windsor trips to France, America, Guernsey and Isle of Wight. Whilst visiting friends in Hong Kong we danced with Hong Kong Morris. Dancing in Ferrette and Cyprus with Kennet.
“Clive enjoyed choreographing dances, and during lockdown he was working on new dances and ideas. Rockhopper and Kennet currently have a dance of Clive’s in their repertoire.
“Anecdotes of Clive usually involved him laughing at his own jokes, alcohol and snoring.
Matron’s Wake, 21st May 2022
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leaves a memory no one can steal. This was the day we’d been waiting for when everyone could get together to celebrate Clive in a manner that befitted him. It was nearly two years since Clive died and we hadn’t celebrated and honoured Clive as we’d wished. So, in April 2022, we started organising Matron’s Wake, which is how most of the Morris thought of Clive – as the Matron of Kennet. Details of Clive’s Celebration was issued to family, non-Morris friends, Wokingham U3A friends and the Morris sides we were involved in plus others.
“It had to be a celebration and a Morris Ale fitted the bill. I hired the Bracknell Scout Hut where Kennet always held their Ales. Clive’s older daughter Maxine organised the food that Clive loved so we had a cheese tower, pork pies, gala pies, cold meats, bread and loads besides. His younger daughter Melanie baked cakes, which she surpasses at, and Clive loved cakes. Peter Jones of Kennet brought along his famous pickles as a Kennet Ale wouldn’t be the same without them.
“I organised wines boxes, soft drinks, his mentee Chris ordered couple of polypins from the Steam Box Brewery and I brought along all of Clive’s beer from the garage. A crate of mixed beers, 6×6 pack of Belgium beers, 18 ciders plus a flagon and more besides. At the welcoming address I announced that all the beers had to go as I didn’t intend taking any home. I’m delighted to say that his friends obliged.
“Andy Richards by default of his loud voice MC’d the event which started with Morris dancing from Kennet, Windsor, Rockhopper and Jackstraws. Singing from those who wished. Kris Lawrence called Rosa and Lucky Sevens. There was a 46-inch monitor showing 200 photos of Clive, and photo albums. Halfway through the celebration I gave a short speech, an extract of which I’ll share:
“Clive has a deep and true affection for his friends and family. Clive’s laugh was contagious especially when he was laughing at his own jokes. No matter what he was going through in his own life, he never complained. Clive also wanted to give his best self to people and lift them up. Clive would’ve hated being the cause of anyone’s sadness. So, let’s raise our glasses — and raise our spirits — in honour of the way he lived.”
Donations in his memory went to the British Heart Foundation: www.bhf.org.uk/
Here is a video of still photos by Kennet Morris Men: ‘The Kennet Morris Life of Clive Allen’ (4 mins).