1964/6 Sir Allen Clark 1898 -1962
Bronze relief plaque mounted on inscribed slate
Bronze figurehead 15" diameter; size of plaque 3 feet x 3 feet 10"
McFall’s lettering on the slate (from his diary):
26/2/64 lettering PLESSEY;
27/2/64 FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN OF COMPANY Ltd;
28/2/64 Reflects the visi Sir ALLEN CLARK;
29/2/64 on & enterprise of;
1/3/64 on 20th March 1964;
4/3/64 fitting plaque together;
3/3/64 lettering "DUKE OF;
7/3/64 PRINCE PHI;
8/3/64 LIP which was opened by;
9/3/64 This research centre
Reference: News cutting: "... Prince Philip to unveil a plaque to Sir Allen Clark, the electronics engineer. Everyone, it seems, was there. Except for bearded David McFall, the sculptor who created the bronze profile of Sir Allen, former managing director of the Plessey electronics firm. "I was not invited" said Mr McFall 44, one of the selection panel for this year's RA. "Frankly I think it's pretty rude." While the Plessey chiefs, with Prince Philip . were admiring the 15 inch diameter plaque at the opening of the Allen Clark Research Centre at Towcester, Northants, the sculptor was working at his studio as usual... He said "After the unveiling of my statue of Sir Winston Churchill at Woodford in 1959, I dined with him and Lady Churchill, a great honour. Today ? It is as though I do not exist. I do not even know whether they like the work, although I am very pleased with it. I did it all from photographs."
The plaque is fixed to the front wall of the Allen Clark Laboratory, Caswell, Towcester, Northants
Sir Allen George Clark (August 24, 1898 – June 30, 1962) was an American born, British industrialist who helped to build the former Plessey company into one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of telecommunications equipment, military electronics and aircraft components.
Allen George Clark was born in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1898. His father was Byron George Clark, an American businessman who worked for United Shoe Machinery Corporation. In 1905 Clark was brought to England by his parents. Following his education at Felsted School, Clark joined the British Army and was wounded at Cambrai in 1917. Clark later joined the Royal Flying Corps and served in Egypt. In 1927 Clark became a British Citizen.
Clark joined the Plessey company in 1921 when his father bought a share of the company. Plessey was a small engineering company based in Ilford, Essex. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, Clark along with the engineer William Oscar Heyne, built Plessey into a large engineering company.
During World War II, Plessey made an outstanding contribution to the nation's war effort producing munitions, aircraft components and electronic equipment. Clark remained in charge of the company throughout these times.
After the war Plessey continued to expand under the guidance of Clark, new products included industrial hydraulics, radar equipment, telecommunications equipment and semiconductors. In 1961 Plessey acquired the British Ericsson and AT&E companies, to become Britain's largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer.
Clark was awarded a Knighthood in 1961.
Allen George Clark died from cancer in 1962, after his death, both of his sons, John Allen Clark and Michael William Clark continued to play an important role in the management of Plessey.
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