Clive Busby was born in Mallin Street, Smethwick on 17th May 1935. He was the second son to Joseph and Marion Busby. His elder brother was Brendon, with his younger sister and brother Marion and Trevor.
As a child, he went to Oldbury Road School, before moving on to the James Watt Technical School in Smethwick. He further studied at Chance Technical College, before taking up a five-year mechanical engineering apprenticeship with Birmid Industries.
After thinking he was finished with study, Clive had to start again as he was sent on National Service in 1956. Clive was positioned at RAF Locking, in Weston Super-Mare, where he studied as a Radar Technician until 1958. When asked about his time in the RAF, he would firstly remind you of his number: “5030872.” He never forgot his service number!
Upon his return, Clive resumed his study eventually gaining his qualification in Chartered Mechanical Engineering, and remained employed at the Birmid.
During his youth, Clive was involved at St Pauls Church Sunday School in Smethwick, and soon joined the scouts group attached. He would eventually become a Scout Master, and according to Joan, nothing would ever stop him going! It is here where he grew in his Christian faith.
At the tender age of 17, Clive met the love of his life, Joan. They first met at the YMCA, with Clive recalling the outfit she wore as ‘Cornflower Blue’. As their courtship blossomed, they were married on the 25th October 1958, just before Clive would finish his National Service. Or so he thought, as he was briefly sent over to Germany leaving Joan with no idea of his location! They started married life staying with Joan’s cousin, before moving to a flat in Handsworth.
You may find it hard to imagine, but Clive had a motorbike and sidecar! A memorable family story was when, along with Joan’s family, they would go on holidays to Martley, Worcestershire, the hometown of Joan’s Auntie. Clive would ride his motorbike with his wife in the sidecar, but she wasn’t on her own. She also had the cats! Oh yes, the cats went on holiday too! All of the other family members would follow in tandem on their motorbikes.
Around 1960, Clive and Joan moved to Halesowen and settled at Barn Close. Briefly going back to the topic of motorbikes, when they moved in, there was an old motorbike in the back garden. This was disposed of by Clive whilst he was tidying up. Little did he know at the time, the motorbike in question was actually a Harley Davidson. A much sought after brand these days!
Joan and Clive continued to travel back to Smethwick to St Pauls, but also to the church Joan attended. However, with the arrival of Alison and Mark, they soon found a new church in Hasbury Methodist, where Clive would continue to immerse himself into Church life.
With the knowledge that Clive had been a Scout Master at St Pauls, it wasn’t long before he was asked to fulfil the vacant role at Hasbury. With his continued love for Scouts, he immediately said yes!
One special memory that Clive always had of Mark, was seeing Father Christmas at Lewis’. There was a competition to win some Action Man figures. He had to answer a question as to why he wanted to win the figures. His answer: they can be changed into someone different every day. To their surprise, he won! Mark was sent three Action Man figures, one of which Clive would later show to his Grandsons.
Clive’s vast array of knowledge of mechanics meant that he could turn his hand to anything. Alison recalls wanting a desk for Christmas and expected just a small school-like desk with a flip lid. However, having seen Dad in the garage building what he said were shelves, she had no idea that he was actually building the desk himself. What a surprise on Christmas morning, when she woke up to what could only be described as a teachers’ desk! They certainly don’t build them like they used to! It is still in use, in the home office today.
After moving to their current property at Hazeldene Road, life became difficult when Mark fell ill with Leukaemia. He sadly passed away at the age of 14, but it was with the incredible love, support, and prayer, from family, friends, and the church, that Clive, Joan, and Alison were able to get through the difficult times.
Through the years, Clive and Joan would enjoy holidays abroad. They particularly loved to go to Tenerife, and ensured they stayed at the same hotel. However, it was on their holiday to America where Clive was able to fulfil one of his lifelong ambitions: to fly in a helicopter through the Grand Canyon.
Clive felt the calling to become a Local Preacher and was accredited in 1991. Clive would always put a lot of thought and effort into his services, and especially loved talking to the children (but the adults loved it too)!
One particular story he told was about Pinocchio. As the story says, Pinocchio was a puppet with strings, so Clive set about making his own Pinocchio. However, when he cut the strings the puppet fell to the floor and couldn’t move. Or could he? With clever radio-controlled equipment, and a helper at the back, Pinocchio began to move and dance. You can imagine the shock of everyone in the church, especially the children! The reason behind the story: there are no strings attached with God. This left a lasting impression, as in some cards that Joan, Alison, and Family received, this story was mentioned.
Clive always cherished special moments, one of which was walking down the aisle with Alison, who married Ian in 1993. He always recalled it as a wonderful day, with a speech crafted like one of his sermons. Detailed, witty, and 20 minutes long.
In 1998, Clive and Joan were able to fulfil another lifelong ambition with a trip to the Holy Land, alongside other members of the church. Clive’s faith was enriched by the experience, that left lasting memories. He could never forget them, mainly because he was in charge of the video camera throughout the holiday!
Another joy was the arrival of his grandsons Matthew and Nathan, who he was so proud of. He loved to share his many passions and knowledge with them, including his model making. Whether it was Planes, Helicopters, or later on in life, Boats, anyone in the family can tell you that the house is full of them!
He was their Bob the Builder, always able to fix things or find the right gadget whenever the boys rang! Grandpops would always be prepared for their visits, and taught them the importance of this, along with patience. Matthew recalls them sitting down together with an airfix model. It was Grandpops’ favourite, the Supermarine Spitfire. They would slowly read through the instructions and make sure every piece was there, before completing it.
Even when it came to loading computer games, he would sit and read through the terms and conditions before installing anything. Of course, as the boys grew up, and with their expansive knowledge in technology, Grandpops would often be amazed at how quickly they could do things without the need to look through any paperwork!
Grandpops would often ask the boys in the school holidays where they would like to go. Nine times out of ten the answer would be RAF Cosford. Many hours for him were spent looking at the aircraft, but Matthew and Nathan would always rush to the fun zone, or more importantly the shop! Grandpops would always spare some change so they could take some gifts home!
The boys would always enjoy trips to Merry Hill, and if Grandpops taught them anything about shopping, it was how to find a bargain! One that has never been beaten, was when he was gifted five broken helicopters for free. After a few weeks, he had three flying once again, with two for spare parts.
In October 2018, Clive and Joan celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary. It was a wonderful time, with congratulations from family, friends, and even royalty. Alison recalls waiting impatiently for a card from Buckingham Palace to arrive, as Clive and Joan received a special congratulations from Her Majesty the Queen.
Of the many cards received, the words that described Clive, were that he was a gentle man of which he truly was…although he told the most corny jokes!
As mentioned, Clive was a thinker, and always prepared. Now God has prepared a place for him, and as it says in John: 14, ““In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
A much-loved Husband, Father, and Grandpops, he will be truly missed, but we are at peace with the knowledge that he is now in his room that God has prepared for him.
God bless you Clive.