Clare Pollak – An Appreciation

Clare at a Castle Green event, ready to answer questions about Sulgrave History Society Projects. (Photo: Colin Wootton)

Sulgrave was very fortunate when Peter and Clare Pollak arrived in the early 1990s. Both being very socially oriented people, they soon immersed themselves in local village events and activities. The main beneficiaries being the Parish Council and especially the Sulgrave History Society. Clare with her background as an Archaeological Illustrator soon became involved in its activities, quickly becoming a very pro-active secretary. Under her watch a very ambitious programme of projects was not only proposed but seen through with meticulous care and detail.

Clare became the official co-ordinator for many of its projects. Her ability to strike up valuable and positive relationships with the administrators of the many grant awarding bodies brought repeated successes. Her patience and persistence in following through all the requirements, record keeping and reports needed, pre and post award, was remarkable.

Through her unstinting efforts we were able to raise from the various grant awarding organisations: £10,000 for the Oral History Project; £25,000 for the Field Action Group; and £89,000 for the Sulgrave Castle Archaeology Group. Click here for the far seeing outline programme Clare drew up in 2004. It is to her eternal credit that every potential project has since become a reality.

It was tragedy for Peter, her friends and the village of Sulgrave when, five years ago, the onset of Alzheimer’s disease suddenly curtailed all her activities. She deteriorated very quickly and the decision was taken to move her to a care home near Cardiff where her daughter, son and family lived. Peter followed her a little later to live nearby.

All will miss her warm and calm persona, her humanitarian views respecting all living things and her extraordinary ability to empathise with all and sundry.

Clare and Peter in 2007 (Photo: Colin Wootton)

Martin Sirot-Smith

Chairman: Sulgrave History Society, Sulgrave Castle Archaeology Group, Castle Green Management Committee.


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