It is with great sadness that we report the death today (Tuesday 6th Dec) of our great friend Mark Chambers, at the Walton centre, Aintree from the injuries sustained following a fall.
A long-standing member of the Cumbrian equestrian world Mark (52) from Edenhall, Penrith was integral to the organisation and volunteering aspect of many events in County and would be a regular face putting in many long hours to make so many competitions a success and over a great many years. Originally from Newcastle he moved as a teenager to Askham and after leaving Newton Rigg College where he studied horticulture he became the Gardener at Askham Hall for the Earl & Countess of Lonsdale. In the late Nineties, he decided to emigrate and moved to Australia to enjoy a very different life and after 2 years took up an offer to work in the burgeoning Garden Centre business in Brisbane becoming a buyer of ceramics from exporters in Vietnam. A life-long equestrian enthusiast he became knowledgeable in breeding and this he extended to goat breeding where he would make regular appearances at the Royal Brisbane Show having much success with his own stud line. Tragedy struck in the winter of 2010/11 when floods forced the evacuation of thousands of people from towns in Queensland and when the town where he was living was submerged and isolated leaving the community to work together, he as ever found himself at the centre of the rescue operation and described wading through flood waters thick with snakes and floating poisonous spiders. After a period of recovery, partially homeless and having lived for some 15 years, latterly with farming friends on the fringe of the outback, in late 2013 a severe and prolonged drought determined him to return to Cumbria to see what life could be reignited. He was wholeheartedly adopted back in to the equestrian world picking up almost exactly from when he had emigrated. Latterly he had also returned to help his many friends with their garden designs and with his great knowledge of plants and his creative talent had begun some interesting projects. He had an extraordinary ability to make new friends almost immediately and acquired connections throughout Britain and around the world and would regularly enjoy weekend visits making easy company at parties and special occasions. A highly reliable and active member of the horse trials world he was also often involved with many charitable events and following the loss of his close friend Victoria Waiting recently was to be seen in fancy dress riding a mechanical horse raising money for a brain cancer trust. Following the fall downstairs at a friend’s house in Chester and having been airlifted to the Aintree Hospital he sadly never made a recovery from the injuries suffered and died on Tuesday 6th.
A funeral will take place at Carlisle Crematorium (CA2 6AR) on Thursday 15th December at 11am and afterwards at The Barn, Askham Hall, Askham, Penrith. (CA10 2PF). Guests are welcome to wear something bright and cheerful and possibly pink.
Flowers may be sent via Flower World, 34 Great Dockray, Penrith. Tel: 01768 864987
Donations may be made to the Pride of Cumbria Air Ambulance and The Walton Centre Charity to help support excellence in neuroscience, via Richardsons Funeral Directors, Victoria Road, Penrith. Tel: 01768 891189