Kirkoswald has lost one of its oldest residents with the death of Michael Clementson.
Born at Braeside to Gladys and William Clementson in September, 1938, he lived all his life in the village.
He started school in rooms above The Coach House which was then part of the village doctor’s residence.
Being wartime, there was an influx of evacuees from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne staying in the village.
As there was not enough room in the school, more accommodation was needed. From there he went to Lazonby School and then on to the Gregg Commercial School in Carlisle.
After leaving school he joined the family building business — the fourth generation to do so. This is now being continued by his son, Alistair.
In the 1950s he and his parents built the bungalow, Gleneden.
In 1958, the vicar at the time, the Rev Jim White, formed a new youth club.
Mike was made chairman and Betty Taylor was secretary. Romance blossomed between the two of them and they married in 1961 at St Oswald’s Church, making their first home in The Square, Kirkoswald, where they lived for 43 years.
The following year, their daughter, Denise, was born, and in 1966, son Alistair arrived, completing the family.
From a very early age Mike showed a keen interest in nature, which continued all his life.
He was quite an authority on moths and butterflies, often running light traps in his garden, and also on field trips with Carlisle Natural History Society, submitting his sightings for county records.
Another source of pleasure was observing the swifts which bred in the many nest boxes which he had made and fixed to the eaves of Gleneden, where they now live. For the last 30 years he has also kept weather records.
He was also a keen fisherman, both river and sea. He was a member of Penrith Sea Angling Club, who organised trips on both west and east coasts. From that he became interested in sailing and in fact he built his own boat in the garage at home, then taking it to sail on Ullswater.
Another interest was fell walking. He and Betty they were proud to claim they had climbed all 214 Wainwright fells in the Lake District, plus several Munroes in Scotland.
The couple spent many of their holidays in their campervan, chiefly in Scotland, but also in other parts of England and Wales. They also spent a holiday touring in Norway.
On another occasion, their daughter and family accompanied them to visit the grave of Michael’s great uncle’s in Meteren Military Cemetery, France. Alexander Clementson — a local lad — was killed in action during the First World War.
Mike was well respected in the village, having been a member of the parish council for several years. He took on the role of bell ringer for quite a while, also raising the flags on the Belfry on specific occasions.
In addition, he took on the job of churchyard grass cutting. He was a mine of information on people and happenings in the village from many years back.
In 1967, under the guidance of the Rev Brian Calvey, the village staged a pageant to mark the anniversary of the granting of a market charter by King John in 1202. Mike took the part of the King’s Herald, growing a beard for the occasion. This stayed for the rest of his life!
As well as his two children, he has three grandchildren of whom he was very proud — Jonathon, who studied at Huddersfield University, and now works as a motion graphics designer and video editor for Harrods in London; Ewan, who graduated in mathematics at Cambridge University, and works as a trainee actuary at Prudential Insurance head office, also in London; and Amber, who has recently graduated in photography at Falmouth University.
Mike is survived by his wife Betty, children Denise and Alistair, and their three grandchildren.
A private funeral service and burial, led by the Rev Katherine Butterfield, was held at St Oswald’s Church, Kirkoswald, last week.