HAILSHAM: Family tributes to generous, kind man

David Hardinge in his younger days
David Hardinge in his younger days

THE family of David Hardinge, who lost his battle against cancer, has paid tribute to a ‘generous, kind man’.

A familiar face around the town, David Hardinge will be remembered by many as the owner of the former Hailsham Pet Shop on Garfield Road, which he ran for 40 years together with his son Grant, until his retirement.

The father-of-four who was married to his wife Jane for 34 years, died on Thursday, December 2, aged 73, leaving behind sons James, Grant and Guy, daughter Camille and close family friend Shaun.

His son James said, “My dad was a generous, kind man who was very laid back with a great sense of humour and loved animals.

“He made people laugh and always liked a joke even when he was very unwell.

“Dad is someone even to this day I look up to and am proud to call him my Dad. The world will be a much sadder place without him.”

A former Hellingly Parish councillor and popular member of the community, Mr Hardinge took a great interest in local activities and was involved in the restoration of the Pavilion Cinema.

His love of wildlife and the environment led him to campaign for animal welfare.

“He was always very considerate to elderly people,” said Jane.

“He was one of the old-school and was very well liked.

“He was always interested in Hailsham and loved Common Pond where he used to sit and watch the ducks.

“He was a fantastic father and was there for all the children’s trials and tribulations. They never had a cross word,” she added.

“His illness was bravely borne. He was very courageous and never complained or said, ‘why me?’. He fought a very brave battle.”

His funeral will take place on Friday, December 17, at Hailsham Church at 12.45pm.

Pictured: David Hardinge in his younger days