Tributes made to ex-Aston Martin foreman with procession through Northampton

A former foreman at a factory for Aston Martins was honoured with a funeral procession of the luxury cars.

Monday, 16th May 2016, 11:56 am
Updated Monday, 16th May 2016, 12:56 pm

The funeral of Fred Clark, who worked at the Newport Pagnell factory for 27 years, saw several owners give their vehicles for the day on a procession from The Mounts to Milton Malsor.

His grandson, Nick Goodyear, said: “We had a great response from the public, firms and clubs the area reps from the Aston Martin Owners Club, Chris Stening & Mark Rolfe really pulled through for us,

“The owner of DJS Aston Martin, in Olney, Desmond Smail worked with Fred at the Newport Pagnell Factory and kindly supplied the lead car a stunning silver 1964 DB5 followed by a DB6 two DB7s and a DBS.”

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Mr Clark, who leaves his wife Irene, was a farmer in Hanslope before he lost a kidney and subsequently went to work for Aston Martin.

Aside from the great satisfaction of overseeing the iconic motorcars, his work brought him into contact with the rich and famous more than once.

He helped show Prince Charles around the factory as a boy, a visit which saw the company present a miniature Aston pedal car as a gift. In later years, he also paid a personal visit when he bought the first of his many Aston Martins.

The model Twiggy was also afforded a special visit to choose her car, a particular shade of blue.

Mr Clark also worked on the DB5 James Bond car that featured in Goldfinger, one of the most iconic cars of all time.

His daughter, Anne recalls seeing it for a secret visit before the rest of the world.

She said: “I sat in as he was parts manager at the time. He took me through to the secret part and I sat there and was told not to touch anything.

“Then some Royals were coming so we left via the rear exit.”

After the company’s liquidation, which proved only a temporary pause in the history of the business, Mr Clark played a pivotal role in helping them back on their feet.

Mr Goodyear said: “When they shut down a lot of the men went to Rolls Royce but when the were back in business Grandpa was sent to Rolls Royce to get the men to come back to Astons.

He was so proud of the cars and how two men would see one car through its entire production and have their initials on the engine.

“He quite often brought one home.

“My nan said at the funeral he’d have loved to have seen the procession.”