Published on 16 - February - 2011
Former GCA chairman Bob Bickerdike diesFormer Garden Centre Association chairman Bob Bickerdike has died aged 63 after an accident in the Alps.
Mr Bickerdike was piloting a hot air balloon when it crash-landed in the French mountains. He escaped unharmed and was attempting to walk to safety when it is believed he lost his footing and fell 1,300ft down a ravine.
The former owner of Brampton Garden Centre, which he sold to Frosts in 2001, was GCA Chairman in 1990-1991 and a strong supporter of the association.
A GCA spokesperson told DIY Week: "It's a tragic loss. Bob was so greatly admired within the industry and of course everybody is reeling with the shock of his untimely death. He touched everybody's lives and lots of tributes have been coming in since his death was announced. He was always planning his next big adventure. He really enjoyed life to the full."
Mr Bickerdike still visited Frosts at Brampton regularly as he lived on site, and was well-known at the centre.
Barton Grange chief executive Guy Topping, who visited Frosts at Brampton recently, said: "He was such a lovely man, so friendly, so welcoming and so interested in people. It is no coincidence that he was still so welcome in the garden centre, he told me they would ring him up to let him know when his favourite dishes were being served. How many garden centre proprietors who have sold up would we be able to say that about? Well done to Frosts for continuing Bob's legacy so well and good bye to a dear friend and GCA stalwart."
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