CLIVE TOTTYI first met Clive on West Kirby shore in 1958. He was
with Pete Williams. They worked together on various construction jobs and when
Pete discovered Clive`s interest in birds he invited Clive to join us on a trip
to Hilbre.I lived in Wallasey and Clive in Leasowe, and on our
many trips to the island I would follow Clive on his BSA Bantum motorbike, me
in my mini-van. The three of us were invited to become members of
Hilbre Bird Observatory in 1959.
Apart from their birdwatching skills, Pete and
Clive were a great team along with friend Pete Raftery on maintenance work,
first in the Wendy Hut and later when we moved to the New (Old) Bird
Observatory, building fences, shelving, cupboards and bunks etc.
I will always remember Pete and Geoff Pass chatting to
Clive in the early1960s, asking Clive how he was getting on in his new job at
the Anglican Cathedral working as a carpenter, Clive responded in his usual
quiet manner that things went quite well. On seeing Clive’s long hair when he arrived his
new work mates exclaimed “Jesus Christ”!
‘No Clive Totty’ was his response.
Later when we moved to the New Obs., Clive’s carpentry
skills are to be seen throughout . . .
more bunks, storage lockers and balcony. Not just the furnishings but Clive’s
artistic work can be seen in the many marquetry pieces on the walls of the
Clive never became a ringer but was a hugely
enthusiastic helper, building Heligoland traps and helping with their essential
Pat (his wife) and Clive moved to Amlwch on Anglesey
to take up a new job at Wylfa Power Station. In his new garden he developed a
superb Alpine plant slope and recorded many interesting moths for the island.
His moth trapping on Hilbre inspired Gavin Broad and myself and in later years
Lottie Williams. We always enjoyed his spring visits catching Netted Pugs and
Marbled Coronets. His records being important to our knowledge.
Pat, Clive with Pete and Doreen made many long stays
together on Hilbre and also exciting trips to South Africa and the Caribbean.
Clive was in our group to Fair Isle Bird Observatory in 1972 were Clive helped
mist net a male first winter Yellow breasted Bunting. Clive was ahead of the
Prof and I and he was climbing over a barbed wire fence, Prof exclaimed “Clive
has either ripped his Cacks (trousers) or there’s a Large White Butterfly on
his arse” I had taken a bottle of Smiths Glenlivet malt whiskey for a
celebration and after taking a large dram Clive had to retire early and was
late for breakfast!!
One of the many delights of the Totties' spring and
autumn visits was joining them for substantial dinners, a modest amount of wine
and always finished with Clive`s beloved Stilton.
The passing of Clive in hospital on 4th
November was met with great sadness.
His spring and autumn visits to Hilbre are legendary. The epitome of a “lovely man” he will be
sorely missed. Our condolences to Pat, their
daughters Nina and Heather, their grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Barry Barnacal (November 2020)