Yesterday marked a very sad day in the history of Radipole Lake with the funeral of Clive Dudderidge, one of our great characters.
Clive was a fixture within the Radipole Visitor Centre for as long as anyone can remember and became firm friends with all staff and volunteers. He unwittingly became the fountain of knowledge on all things Radipole for any early morning visitors with his remarkable ability to pluck dates and times of notable events from his memory in a twinkling of his eye.
Radipole was his first call every morning for a coffee, cigarette and a bout or two of verbal jousting with RSPB staff who were the perennial targets of this skilled and tireless wind-up merchant. You could see from the mischievous glint in his eye that he loved the banter and - I hasten to add - he seldom 'lost' a joust!
He followed his daily birding (and RSPB staff baiting) with a trip to 'the accountant' (Ladbrokes) for a flutter and then to The Swan for half a Guinness - fittingly the venue for the old rascal's wake. I am sure he will be missed as much by the staff of these establishments as he will be by ourselves.
A few years ago Lynne persuaded Clive to volunteer for us and it appeared that he enjoyed helping on guided walks almost as much as his contributions were appreciated by our visitors. Guided walks on Radipole will henceforth lack the non-conformist touch that Clive brought - despite the RSPB cap perpetually perched upon his crown, it is fair to say that Clive cared little for 'branding policy'!
For those of you who knew Clive but couldn't attend the service I can reassure you that it was a lovely ceremony conducted by Clive's own daughter Sharon. That there were smiles and tears in equal measure says it all about the man... a one off who will be remembered fondly by all who got to know him. And remembered with a smile.
Clive George Dudderidge 1938-2012.
I'm sad that I never had the opportunity to meet Clive - he sounds fantastic!
R I P Clive, great character..
Well said Nick. We'll all certainly miss Clive a lot!
I agree with all you say. It won't be the same in the mornings at the VC. Shame he couldn't see the completion of the revamp.