Councillor Ian Bark was re-elected Mayor of Bridport, in May 2021, for the Mayoral Year – 2021-2022.
Ian was born in Nottingham and grew up on a farm close to the small village of Cropwell Butler. After leaving school Ian went to Keswick Hall College of Education, Norwich where he trained to be a teacher specialising in Geography.
After graduation he moved to Cornwall with his future wife Anne, and worked as a bookbinder for four years before attending Bristol Polytechnic where he retrained as a teacher of Design and Technology. Ian took up his first teaching post in 1979 at Wooton Upper School, Bedford, and lived in the then new town of Milton Keynes.
In 1984 Ian was one of a select group of teachers seconded to the British School Technology Project. The remit of the project was to deliver a dramatic shift from a traditional craft based curriculum to one fit for preparing young people to take their place in the emerging digital age. His dual role as Lecturer and Designer enabled him to develop his creative and management skills and following the end of the three year project, he established his own design business in collaboration with ex colleagues. In 1998 Ian returned to teaching at St Paul’s Catholic School, Milton Keynes where he worked until retiring in 2013.
Ian moved from Milton Keynes to Bridport in 2013 and rapidly became involved in local life. He was co-opted onto the Bothenhampton and Walditch Parish Council in 2014 and continued to serve until being elected to the Bridport Town Council in 2019. Ian was a member of the Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan Joint Committee, and after five years of hard work and numerous public consultations achieved the successful delivery of the completed plan this year.
In addition Ian is a miller and tour guide at the Town Mill, Lyme Regis. He is the Treasurer and Volunteer Coordinator for the Bridport Community Orchard Group where you will find him on the morning of the second Sunday of the month leading the work session. Using the experience and knowledge of orchards gained, he has established a small community orchard in Burton Bradstock which he helps maintain with a small group of dedicated volunteers. A beekeeper, keen gardener and allotment holder he has won awards for both. Like many people of his age it is his grandchildren, Wren and Ingrid, that have a special place in his life, and pre lockdown he thoroughly enjoyed looking after them one day a week.
Each year the Mayor chooses 2 charities to support, and this year Ian has chosen Harmony and The Living Tree.