It is with great sadness that we report the death of Christopher Bartle, RAFTA Fellow and former Chairman. Christopher was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease approximately two years ago and he finally lost his battle with the debilitating disease on Monday 15 May. Our deepest and most sincere sympathies and condolences go to his family, in particular his devoted wife Iris and Iris’ daughter Alex.
For many Members, Christopher was the face of RAFTA, having organised all of the One-Act Play Festivals that took place at the Juliana Goss Theatre at RAF Lyneham. Having recently taken on the mantle of Festival Coordinator, I can personally testify to the tremendous amount of work and effort that goes into the annual event. And in Christopher’s day, he had twice as many plays to schedule – as far as I know without a cross word. At least none that any of us heard. I’m sure Iris will have different tales to tell.
But Christopher was so much more than a Fellow, Chairman and Festival Organiser. He was a fine actor – one of the finest that RAFTA has seen – picking up numerous awards for Best Actor at the One-Acts and appearing in Projects dating back to 1986. His set building was legendary. Not a wobble or squeak to be seen or heard – unless of course Christopher intended there to be one.
The world has lost a true gentleman and RAFTA has lost a genuine friend, mentor and inspiration. Alex has asked me to say that Christopher’s last day was very peaceful spent with all his family – including Samba the dog! – filled with bubbles, laughter, love and Thomas Tallis, one of Christopher’s favourite composers.