Sid Clarke: Broadland farmer turned artist sold paintings around the world

OBIT Sid Clarke

OBIT Sid Clarke - Credit: Archant

Broadland farmer Sid Clarke, who has died aged 74, had a passion for landscape painting and his work was sold around the world.

He started painting at school and was self-taught having been encouraged by celebrated bird artist, Roland Green.

At the height of farming's drive to boost food production in the 1980s, he manage to make time to paint scenes of his beloved Broadland. He even planned his cropping, which at one stage included about 15 acres of potatoes, to enable him to paint.

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His work, which was always authentically Broadland, was bought by collectors in north and south America as well across Europe. At the 1988 Royal Norfolk Show his allocation of five paintings sold within half an hour of the opening of the exhibition.

Norfolk's former Euro-MP, the late Paul Howell, officially opened his new Grove Farm gallery and studio at Catfield in April 1993.

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Born at Ludham on August 16, 1939, his parents then lived in Staithe Road. His father, Herbert, then farmed at Walton Hall and in 1971, Sid obtained the tenancy of Grove Farm, where he grew field vegetables and specialised in growing dried flowers on the 120-acre holding. When Norfolk County Council sold its Ludham estate, as sitting tenant, he managed to buy part of the farm and converted a barn into a studio and gallery.

He had many successful exhibitions in Norwich at the Assembly Rooms, when buyers would queue to be first in line, and also at the Tudor Galleries, when the cream of his 79 paintings – a year's work sold.

After retiring from farming, he turned enthusiastic gardener and also took up golf seven years ago, playing at Mundesley. He even had a hole-in-one.

He was married to Jean, who survives, for almost 50 years and leaves three children, Sandra, Gary and Sharyn, and two grandchildren, Alister and Jessica.

A memorial service will be held at St Catherine's Church, Ludham, on Thursday, March 13 at 2pm.

Michael Pollitt

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