Clive H Izard MBE JP

by Joy Broughton, first published in the Newsletter no 42, Dec 2022.

If anyone can be described as “Mr. Ardingly” it would be Clive.

Clive Harold Izard was born on 27th December 1919, just after World War I, to Mary Ann (née Holman) and Joseph John Izard at Downshire Terrace in Street Lane, Ardingly. He could trace his roots back many generations and was definitely a man of Ardingly. From Downshire Cottages the family moved to Newcroft Cottages and then to West View in Little London before moving to The Croft, Church Lane in 1936.

Following his 11th birthday he passed the scholarship exam and gained entry to East Grinstead County Grammar School. This entailed cycling to Horsted Keynes station (now on the Bluebell Line) each day to catch the train to East Grinstead and the return journey home again at the end of each day.

He left school in 1937 and after a short office job joined the RAF in January 1939, nine months before the outbreak of World War II. Most of his service was in the Middle East and he was mentioned in despatches on two occasions, and gained the rank of Sergeant.

With wife Peggy and son John he moved to a new house in Gowers Close in 1951, moving from his parent’s house in The Croft. He found clerical work at St. Francis Hospital before in 1956 he was appointed Secretary to the Sussex Football Association.

Clive joined the Parish Council in 1950 having always been interested in politics. In 1956 he also took on the responsibilities of the Parish Clerk and did an excellent job for 27 years. He was an expert on local politics and all the Chairmen will confirm that his advice on village matters was exemplary!! He was elected as our representative to the Mid-Sussex District Council (it was then the Cuckfield Rural District Council) and he stayed for 37 years – always ensuring the village interests were considered by the full Council.

A man of high principal he never claimed any expenses or salary during this whole period. The only one on the Council not to do so. His principal also thought that Council houses should not be sold and, therefore, always paid rent for his dwelling. In 1969 he became a Magistrate (JP) and sat on the Bench for 20 years, having to retire at the age of 70 years. On occasions he acted as Chairman.

He represented the village in the public enquires for the Reservoir and Showground and for many years was the Secretary and Treasurer for the Hapstead Hall Management Committee – always with the help of his wife.

He was awarded the M.B.E. in the year 2000 for services to the community and the village thought this was fully justified. A keen supporter of both the Football and Cricket Clubs he was appointed honorary life membership of the Cricket Club in 1980. Prior to retirement Clive worked in the office at Wakehurst and for the Bursar at the College. He was the instigator of making small gardens around the village and at the entrance to Munnion Road, Holmans and the Recreation Ground.

On his retirement from the Council and as a ‘Thank You’ the village donated a bench outside Hapstead Hall.

On the formation of the History Society he became Honorary Treasurer for 10 years and continued as Archivist until he died on 28th April 2016. During this period he spent many, many hours researching and typing information on the History of the village. His funeral service was held on 16th May 2016 at the Surrey and Sussex Crematorium.