A fond farewell

A floral tribute at the funeral of Harry Clouth
A floral tribute at the funeral of Harry Clouth

FAMILY members and civic leaders came together to pay tribute at the funeral of a former Hartlepool mayor and councillor.

Around 100 mourners, including Mayor Stuart Drummond and Hartlepool MP Iain Wright, packed into All Saints Church, Stranton, to say their goodbyes to town stalwart Harry Clouth.

Mr Clouth, who lived in the Throston area and worked as a councillor for more than 20 years, died at the age of 82.

The father-of-four and granddad-of-six was given the honour of a civic funeral with dignitaries lining the street to pay their respects.

Mr Clouth passed away on Tuesday, June 19, in the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, after suffering a stroke.

The former Labour councillor leaves behind four children, Harry Jnr, Peter, Diane Williams and Marion Newbon.

During the emotional service, Harry Clouth Jnr reminisced about a time he dropped his dad off at home after taking him out for lunch.

The 42-year-old said: “He turned to me and said thank you. Now it is my turn to say thank you.

“I love you and always will.”

Mr Clouth’s late wife Maureen passed away nine years ago at the age of 73.

The pair were married for almost 50 years.

Daughter Marion, who described her dad as her “best friend”, said: “Dad was a wonderful, proud, caring man.

“He was a fun-loving dad who lived life to the full and he could light up a room with his beautiful smile.

“Mum and dad gave us so much love, they were an inspiration to us all.”

Reverend Andrew Craig told mourners: “His first priority was his wife Maureen and his children.

“Harry invested a great deal of time in his family.”

Labour councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, chair of the council, said: “Everybody knew Harry as he was always out in the community.

“He lifted the bar as to how to be a councillor.”

Mr Clouth was born in Rotterdam, Holland, in 1930 to an English father and a Dutch mother.

He was recognised as a sporting talent and signed by a local football club aged just eight.

But his hopes were cut short by the German invasion and because of his British status the family were forced to flee and escaped to Hartlepool.

The family moved into Dundas Street and the youngster attended Lister Street School.

At 14, he started a seven-year apprentice as a shipwright at Gray’s shipyard after which he did his national service and spent two years as a carpenter in the Merchant Navy.

He returned to Hartlepool and worked his way through the ranks at the shipyards, even turning down a professional contract with Hartlepool United.

He became involved in politics in his 50s and was elected as a ward councillor in Throston in 1985.

Mr Clouth was made mayor in 1998 before eventually standing down as a councillor in 2008.

In 2010, he was honoured as an Alderman of the Borough.