This warm, emotional and very poignant service celebrated Clive’s family life and his career spent in the heart of the Sussex farming community. We were reminded of the qualities which made him the very special husband, father and family man he was, and how he touched so many people’s lives in a unique way that those who knew him loved him.
Clive was above all a family man, the centre of his universe were his adored wife Lynda and sons Gavin and Callum. He was a wonderful son to his late father Bernard and mother Stella and brother to Graeme and Andrew.
Lynda with amazing courage set the tone of the service with a very personal poem. The Eulogy written by Graeme with contributions from Andrew, family and friends was delivered by his cousin Paul Collins.
Clive was born at Edmunds Farm, Balcombe to Stella and Bernard in 1965. He was educated at Balcombe School then moved on to Warden Park, Cuckfield. He worked hard but preferred sport, representing the School in football, Rugby and Cricket.
His working life began at Edmunds Farm with his father and brother Andrew, and at this time he joined Wivelsfield Young Farmers Club.
In 1983 Clive attended Plumpton Agricultural College where he enjoyed every minute of his time combining education, sport and Young Farmers. He lived life to the full and took advantage of everything it had to offer and in his indomitable way he left his mark.
Many lifelong friends and contacts were made at Plumpton which, for generations of Sussex farming families holds a unique bond between ex-students of all ages.
After leaving college Clive joined his brother Graeme’s farm contracting business where he became an expert tractor driver, combine operator and all-round professional machine operator. Clive helped to expand GB Elliott and in due course became operations manager, taking over the daily responsibilities of the business. He forged a close and friendly relationship with work colleagues, customers and suppliers, and a special partnership developed with New Holland which carried on for many years including testing their balers and tractors.
It was during this time that Clive met Lynda whose family farmed near Dublin, through his involvement with Young Farmers. They married in March 1991, and the deposit for their first home was paid for from the sale of his pride and joy, a dark green Golf GTi!
Clive and Lynda enjoyed happy times and in 1992 the opportunity arose to move back to Balcombe, and in 1993 Gavin arrived and Callum in 1995, their family was now complete.
During these years Clive worked incredibly hard finding little time for sport as he strove to provide for his new young family. In 2000 when his brother Graeme decided to move out of contracting, the opportunity arose for Clive to create a new business with his friend Bill Hayward a local farmer. They took over the contracting business and Elliott and Hayward Contracting was set up. This company took on work throughout Sussex, Surrey and parts of Kent.
As agricultural contractors they were always busy particularly during the peaks in the farming calendar. However, when work allowed, Clive enjoyed time with Lynda and their sons, playing cricket for Balcombe, and with the Sussex Farmers Cricket team, and during the winter months he would shoot with family and friends.
Clive joined the committee of the Hurstpierpoint Ploughing Match in 1994 and was a very effective chairman from 2008 -2010.
In 2011 a joint decision was made to dissolve the Elliott and Hayward partnership allowing Clive more time with his family, and in 2012 he joined John Seale Ltd, a career change which he thoroughly enjoyed for all too short a time.
As Lynda said ‘Clive was too good a person not to have been allowed to live his life to the full’. He leaves behind lasting memories of a life which was filled with hard work, professionalism, commitment, love and a great deal of laughter.
Clive’s lasting legacy are his sons Gavin and Callum, of whom he and Lynda are so very proud, and in them his spirit and remarkable qualities live on.
Carola Godman Irvine