Gareth Our ‘Heart & Soul’ Park Services Manager Dies

Gareth Bartle, Henley Town Council’s Park Services Manager sadly lost his fight with lung and brain cancer and passed away on Friday last week (4 May).

Gareth (pictured left), aged just 53 has been the Park Services Manager for 14 years and been a member of the Henley in Bloom Committee as well as a judge for Thames & Chiltern in Bloom and Green Flag. He was married to his wife Janet and they have two children Ethan (18) and Corinna (15). They live together in Pangbourne.  Gareth was diagnosed with terminal lung and brain cancer in October 2017. Despite the odds, Gareth improved with treatment and continued to work for the town council until recently. Gareth moved into Sue Ryder Nettlebed on Monday last week and was surround by his family when he died..

Gareth grew up in Woodcote and went to school in Langtree before coming to Henley College. He went to Aberystwyth to university to study countryside management and conservation. Before his Henley Town Council position, he had every job you can think of from land surveyor to dispatch rider, to care assistant for people with learning disabilities. He loved Welsh rugby, his motorbikes, vintage vehicles, boating parties and spending time with his friends and family.

Henley Mayor, Councillor Kellie Hinton said, “Gareth was, and is, the heart and soul of Henley’s open and green spaces. He was such an influential person, so creative and such a visionary for Henley in Bloom. Although we have had time to come to terms with Gareth’s illness over the past six months, the sudden loss has winded us all. Gareth has had an impact on so many lives. He was obviously Henley Town Council’s Parks Services Manager, but we really did get so much more than somebody who just manages a parks department. His dedication led to him becoming a Thames and Chilterns in Bloom judge as well as a Green Flag judge and he has been instrumental in achieving every single award Henley in Bloom and our parks have received. Everybody who speaks of Gareth, talks of how he helped them in some way, always under the radar, from local schools to local residents. On a more personal level, Gareth was a dear friend whom I could trust with any secret. He might have joked that I talked too much but he was always willing to listen and advise anyone who needed him, including myself. The loss of Gareth as part of Henley Town Council shouldn’t be underestimated. There will be a transitional period while we learn to adjust to a new way of moving forward, a way with perhaps a little less sparkle and cheekiness. There is some comfort to be had from knowing that Gareth went out of this world on his own terms, where he wanted to be and who he wanted to be with. It’s true to say that all councillors and staff of Henley Town Council will miss Gareth. Our thoughts are with his wife Janet and his children Ethan and Corinna.”

Gareth’s family would like to thank everybody for their support but would ask that instead of sending flowers, donations can be made either to Cancer Research via his daughter Corinna’s sponsored run  or directly to Sue Ryder Nettlebed.

Gareth’s funeral will be on 24 May at 12 noon at West Berkshire Crematoriam, Thatcham

Our thoughts are with Gareth’s family and friends and at this difficult time.



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