Nominated by Paul Strudwick, Clarke Roofing Southern Limited.
The Sussex Heritage Trust Person of the Year Award is in recognition of Frank’s 49 years in the industry and desire to maintain the heritage status of many of Sussex’s significant houses and buildings and his passion for training the younger generation of heritage roofers.
Clarke Roofing was started by Frank Clarke senior in 1949. His two sons, Robert and Frank, joined their father in the business after the retirement of Frank Senior, they became partners and Clarke Roofing Southern Limited was formed.
Following Robert’s retirement, Frank invited Paul Strudwick and David Beer to become shareholders and directors and they remain with the company to this day.
Frank has worked on many heritage projects throughout Sussex, with organisations such as the The Landmark Trust, Chichester Diocese and the Weald and Downland Museum. One of the most challenging of these projects was the roof at West Dean College, which at the time had the largest free-standing scaffold in Europe. Frank worked closely with the architect and onsite team to ensure the project was completed to an exceptionally high standard – and it comes as no surprise that the project won a Sussex Heritage Trust Award in 2020. In fact Frank and Clarke Roofing have won multiple Awards over the years including St Peter’s Church, Hamsey in 2018 and Manor Farmhouse in 2021.
Frank has been in the industry for over 49 years and there is no doubt his absolute dedication to his craft. He was awarded a certificate and silver medal from The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers – this is only the third medal ever awarded in this category since the company’s Royal Charter in 1568! Frank has also been a member of the London & Southern Counties region of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors committee for over 14 years and stood for a period as Chairman.
Over the last few years Frank has been planning succession to the third generation, however, he is still very much involved in the company and particularly focuses now on training and development, using his vast experience to guide and advise young people to attain the craft skills required to work on all modern heritage buildings.
Paul Strudwick, who nominated Frank for this Award, said:
In recognition of Frank’s hard work and desire to maintain the heritage status of many of Sussex’s significant houses and buildings and his passion for training the younger generation of heritage roofers FRANK CLARKE was announced as the Sussex Heritage Person of the Year 2023.
The Dove Cote, Eastbourne
Manor Farmhouse, South Heighton
Completed roof at West Dean College
of Arts and Conservation
Scaffolding at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation