Respects have been paid following the loss of caring and witty father, volunteer, Ramsgate Town Council technician and Cliffsend parish councillor Chris Barton.
Chris sadly passed away on Tuesday (March 28) following health issues.
The 59-year-old was a huge part of the community in Ramsgate and Cliffsend where he was remembered for going ‘above and beyond’ to help others, whether that was at events, litter picking around his home village or, during the covid pandemic, distributing food and necessities to those who needed help – often making sure deliveries were carried out before he even started his day at work.
Chris, dad to Charlotte and owner of much-loved dog Ralph, was also a Salvation Army volunteer and an avid promoter for Ramsgate.
At a town council meeting this evening, chairman Cllr Steve Albon said: “Chris was an RTC employee (but) he was also a friend as well as a colleague.
“One thing that shows you what Chris was about, what kind of human being he was, during covid Chris picked up one of our fellow councillors at 6.30am to pick up food from the Salvation Army to be distributed, He did that before he started work and he did it throughout the whole covid period.”
Cllr Albon added that Chris had “brilliant” knowledge and “superb” expertise and worked in a close knit team.
Fellow councillor Jane Hetherington said Chris went “above and beyond the call of duty” to help others, adding: “His humour, his wit and his knowledge is going to be sorely missed.”
Cllr Tricia Austin remembered Chris’s love of a bad joke and his wry wit while Ramsgate mayor Raushan Ara said he was always there when someone needed help, adding: “He will be greatly missed.”
Councillors gave condolences to daughter Charlotte and all of Chris’s friends and Cllr Albon said something to remember Chris would be installed at Radford House.
Friend Lucy Cook remembered a fellow animal lover who was there for the dark times but also for the light times: “When it all got light, you were the one that bought me flowers when I got a new job, or bought something because you know that I would like it because it had a cat on it.
“You celebrated my successes more than I did because you knew what it’s like when you’re in a dark place trying to make light in the world and pushing through it.
“I know you went peacefully, warm and knew you were loved.”
Maxine Morgan, who worked with Chris at RTC, said: “The team have been shocked with the sad news of Chris passing. We know that he had a terrible time over the past 18 months but has left us far too soon. It won’t be the same without him.”
Cliffsend resident Christine Stringer shared a touching tribute with the village, saying: “Yesterday evening our much-loved friend and village councillor Chris Barton passed away quietly in his home.
“Over the years Chris has made a huge contribution to the village and he has regularly assisted with the Christmas tree and light switch on and many other events.
“Chris also volunteered tirelessly for the Salvation Army and he made sure that many families and their pets had supplies throughout lockdown.
“One thing that Chris was really passionate about was keeping our environment clean and he regularly arranged litter picking days along our coastline.”
Christine said an event to remember Chris would be arranged, adding: “Wherever a beautiful soul has been there are a trail of beautiful memories.”
Tribute from Ramsgate Town Council says: “Chris first joined us as a Parish Lengthsman in April 2018 and was promoted to Supervisor Technician in January 2020.
“Chris was instrumental in making the Technicians a true community asset, he reached out to and worked with community groups in a way that hadn’t been done before, and he led on the town council’s contribution towards a foodbank at Radford House, working in conjunction with Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet during the pandemic, which involved him driving to collect food at 6:30am every morning.
“Chris had a considerable set of skills that allowed us to take on new challenges and bring more activities in-house. He also gave a considerable amount of time to helping community events in his own time, such as helping at Ellington Park and driving our milk float for different carnivals.
Chris will be missed by all the councillors and his colleagues, and our thoughts are with his daughter Charlotte at this very sad time, her father was a remarkable man who will be greatly missed by many.”