In memory of ProWA member
by Grahame Jordan
Members will recognise the many stunning photographs of turbines used on our website and in various renewable energy magazine articles by our colleague Jonathan Clark, a qualified photographer, ex mental nurse, ex lorry driver, environmentalist and campaigner who died on 7 November 2019, aged 65.
Little is really known about this quiet man’s early life, he rarely offered his family background beyond saying ‘boyhood in Scotland – young man in Liverpool – a few other places.’
So, he came to Leicester, got married which sadly, didn’t last. Moved to Lubenham where he set up a photographic art and print service. He produced a comprehensive exhibition titled “The State of this Planet” with full documented evidence of the Earth’s disappearing habitats; animal suffering; water shortages and pollution: blame correctly attributed to us, Homo Sapiens.
He went to many environmental and social meetings and studied the political issues, including challenging his parish council about their refusal to support a wind farm – enter the Pro Wind Alliance. We attended one of the Harborough District meetings and struck up the common theme with his concerns and our aims – he became a valuable member, willing to make himself available for site visits, local community wind exhibitions and planning meetings. He learned from our experienced members and developers how the technology worked plus the financial aspects that the public and politicians needed to understand. Here was some of his difficulty and disappointment; he could not accept the ignorance of the public, and, more critically, the self interests of the political class.
His involvement (with ProWA) became infrequent, we soon found out why. He’d bought a 3 acre plot of farm land with a barn and was growing food in the organic permaculture method. Not for profit, but for sharing, allowing locals to use the facility to grow their own.
He was a methodical, practical, hard working guy who could do all the building, landscaping, drainage etc., even building a large pond that collected recycled water for his plants. With 30 solar panels on the roof, he had his energy source to feed a self contained function room, resembling a large studio flat (completely inside the barn). Here the Undle group was established.
Jonathan set up the evening social group to meet monthly (in the barn) for film shows, discussions, debates, on any and all issues. They were very successful – even if it was only a relatively small number. This project, The Undle, became his full time work, a single individual making the right choices for a sustainable life.
He was a remarkable even unique individual, passionate about the world he cared for and prepared to do what he could to make it better. He certainly did that.