Mr Albert Claude Bartlett.
PIONEER racer and former Island councillor, Albert Claude Bartlett, generally known as Buster and well known for his no-nonsense approach to conducting council business, died following a short illness at St Mary’s Hospital, on Tuesday, aged 99.
Born in Tottenham, London, on February 20, 1913, the well-respected public figure served as an independent councillor on the IW Council for 16 years, on Ventnor Town Council for many years, including a spell as mayor, until 2009, and was mayor of the former South Wight Borough Council.
It is believed he may have been the country’s oldest serving councillor at one time.
He is a holder of a coveted Gold Star award for lapping the famous Brooklands circuit at more than 100mph in 1937. Mr Bartlett also briefly turned his talents to wall of death riding at at Southend-on-Sea.
He remained a man of passion when it came to motorcycle sport and the preservation of vintage machines and memories associated with them.
The Second World War proved to be the end of his racing days and the start of career development to the point where he became a factory gas production manager with the Thorn Group in London.
He married Joyce just after the outbreak of war in 1939 at St Paul’s Church, North London — a stone’s throw from the football club he always supported, Tottenham Hotspur. In his younger days, he was an accomplished violinist and was a Grand Master of London Masonic Lodges until he moved to the Island.
His early working life was spent as a toolmaker before he studied engineering.
Mr Bartlett moved to the Island in 1976 after he and his late wife fell in love with St Lawrence while on holiday there.
A stoic character, Mr Bartlett had lived independently up until March last year, when he fell and broke a hip.
Mr Bartlett leaves his daughter, Hazel Ridley, two grandsons and four great-grandchildren.
His funeral will take place at St Lawrence Parish Church on Friday, June 22, at 11am, followed by interment in the adjoining churchyard.
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