Tributes to Brian Hill - businessman, art lover, magistrate and a man who made a real difference to Bridlington

A funeral service has been held for Brian Hill, who spent more than half-a-century serving numerous organisations in Bridlington.

By John Edwards
Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 4:49 pm
Brian Hill
Brian Hill

He died peacefully surrounded by his family on May 11, having been involved with Bridlington Harbour Commissioners, the town’s civic society and worked as a straight-talking magistrate. Born in Bristol in July 1936, he had vivid wartime memories of running from rolling incendiary devices and was bombed out of three houses in a week in April 1941.

In 1962, Brian was offered a job at Riggs Holdings in Bridlington and went on to become their export sales manager, travelling all over Europe.

Seven years later, he left Riggs to set up his own company, Savecrest in Bridlington, after being approached by a German consortium to take a sales agency in the UK. This business venture was very successful and saw Brian working all over the world, including Germany, Argentina, the USA and Brazil.

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In the early 1980s, Brian’s son Colin joined the business and Brian set up a spare parts business running in parallel, importing from Germany and Italy.

In his adopted Yorkshire home town, Brian was a founder, life member and chairman of Bridlington Civic Society, as well as chairman of the governors of Burlington Infant and Junior Schools.

He was a member and then elected Fellow of The Institute of Directors, president of Bridlington Art Society, patron of the Hull University Art Collection, treasurer of the Royal Navy Association Bridlington, treasurer and life member of the Derwent Anglers Club, and became chairman and president of trustees of the Friends of the Ferens Art Gallery Hull.

Brian was a world renowned expert and published author on Cima, a 15th Century Italian painter, and his loves included Mercedes cars, travelling on Concorde, visiting Venice, the music of Puccini and Pink Floyd, and gardening.

Son Colin said: “Most of all, he was a wonderful, loving and supportive husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and great grandfather and will greatly missed.”

He is survived by his wife Grace, daughter Julie and son Colin.

After leaving college in Bristol, Brian gained employment in the engineering and printing division of The Imperial Tobacco Company, and then in 1954, he was called up for National Service and was sent to Portsmouth to join the Royal Navy.

Within eight days, he was on board HMS Theseus heading for the Mediterranean on exercises. Life in the Navy was a very happy time for Brian and his family said he often spoke of his time sailing to the Middle East, the Arctic and into Russia, and being among the first UK servicemen to visit to Leningrad after the end of the Cold War.