Builder and table tennis stalwart Eric dies at 90

A MAN described as a pillar of society, builder and table tennis stalwart Eric Barton, has died at 90.

Mr Barton served in the Navy in the Second World War and was taken prisoner at Tobruk.

He ran his own building business, E J Barton and Sons, and was known by customers as a perfectionist.

He had numerous social interests, including playing cricket for Tendring Park cricket club, which he joined when he was 15.

He returned to play for the team after the war and continued until 1960, when he was injured in a motorbike accident.

He was also an accomplished artist and budding magician and used his literary talents to write his autobiography, a Village Boy, as well as a Collection of Wildlife Stories, a bedtime story book dedicated to his first great-grandchild.

Mr Barton was secretary of Great Horkesley Table Tennis Club and ran coaching sessions for children.

His late brother, Len, also helped and the two were known as stalwarts of the Colchester Table Tennis League.

Eric Barton served as secretary and treasurer of the Colchester and District division of the English Schools Association for table tennis.

Mr Barton, his wife, June, and two sons, Stuart and Richard, all represented the Great Horkesley club and Mr Barton also encouraged a number of young players through the ranks.

Martyn Green, of Colchester and District Table Tennis League, said: “Men like Eric are difficult to come across these days.

“He played hard but fair, and was always a font of knowledge.’’ Mr Green described Mr Barton as a pillar of society “a person who is universally respected, reliable, decent and hardworking, that is more of a giver than taker, often engaging in voluntary work and taking up worthy causes.’’

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