Brian Harding died on December 4, after battling cancer for several years. Those who saw his cheerful, tanned face manning the plant stall outside the town hall for Shaftesbury country market each Thursday in recent years will only now realize how well he concealed his illness.
For Shaftesbury, Brian will be best remembered for the eponymous emporium which he created and ran for several decades: combining a stationer’s offering everything you might need, including full ranges of items such as fountain pen nibs and Ordnance Survey paper maps, a full service book department and a delightful toy store. The shop retained the Harding’s name for many years but is now today called the Toy Barn.
For Cedars Castle Hill, Brian was a vital supporter. He quietly created and ran a Friends organization which helped enlist important support through the early years of establishing and extending the work of the charity’s two homes. In later years, he continued low key fundraising, each year contributing several thousand pounds to our funds for those little extras which make a huge difference for residents and staff.
Others will have known Brian in many other contexts – Rotarian or golfer to name but two – but to Cedars Castle Hill he was a true Friend. We send our sympathy and our thanks to his family and friends.