Stuart Harding (Passed away 20 Jul 2019)

For Charitable
Donations To

New Forest Commoners Defence Association

Funeral Service

Location
All Saints' Church Marsh Lane, Fawley Southampton SO45 1DL
Date
13th Aug 2019
Time
10am
Funeral Director
New Forest Funerals

In loving memory of Stuart Harding who sadly passed away on 20th July 2019
STUART HARDING 1943 – 2019
A much admired, respected, energetic, powerfully built and friendly New Forest character with a talent for organisation, Stuart Harding was born in Fawley where the Harding family are known to have lived since the 1740s. His father, Charles (1901-1966) and his mother Edith lived at Ricasole, Langley, near Whitefield Farm when Charles became gardener at the present Cadland House. His mother, Edith worked for Air Commodore and Mrs Quinell at Nelsons Place, Stanswood Road.
Stuart grew up in the post-war years and eventually, having tried farming, he became a postman in Purlieu. An interesting choice as Purlieu is a Norman-French word meaning ‘the outskirts of the forest’, a place free from forest laws’. However, Stuart became a practicing New Forest commoner for about 30 years eventually breeding pure bred ponies. His brand first appeared in the stud books in 1965, the prefix Darkwater officially added in 1969; the line continues. Stuart was a great supporter of the New Forest Pony Publicity Group and enjoyed manning the stand at shows.
He worked for Norris & Sons from 1980-2013, was very loyal to Fred Norris and much enjoyed doing the deliveries round the Forest. He would take his mother, Edith, to work with him and the staff looked after her while he was out on his rounds. His willingness to help anyone and everyone often resulted in a good meal! He made many friends who became useful contacts.
All this, and Commoners know how much time commoning takes, while delivering the mail on his bicycle, collecting the union dues, lending a hand when and where needed. His contacts were to prove very useful when he participated and then ran the very successful Tug of War Association – there are, sadly, none of these jovial groups now in the New Forest. The Mopley Riding Club grew out of the Fawley Riding Club; Stuart later became its Chairman, a position he held for over 30 years.
In 1962, Stuart became a tenant of the Cadland Estate, taking over from his parents. The Estate has supported the Commoners and the Mopley Riding Club for well over 50 years. Fawley Field is used when the stallions are taken off the Forest and for shows by the Club. It is a very happy partnership, the Club inspiring young people not just to ride and race well and safely but also teaching them courtesy, discipline and responsibility while having a great deal of fun. Above all they learn the ways of the Forest and respect for it.
Stuart was kind, patient and endlessly courteous to all. At the Club’s AGM, he would mention and name every contribution made by a member that year. This took time but was hugely appreciated before the prizes were handed out.
He will be remembered by all with affection and admiration for his kindness and competence. There are few today who are able do so much so well and so consistently for others.
I am grateful to several contributors; to Bob and Sue Lucas, Lesley Roberts, Christina Quilliam Jim Greenwood and Graham Parkes, Waterside Historians.
Gilly Drummond, President, Mopley Riding Club

Image -Stuart Harding presenting the ? Award for ? at the Mopley Riding Club AGM 2019

I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO ADD AN AMENDMENT TO THE ABOVE BIOGRAPHY.

Stuart was born in Dibden.
Some of the founding members have stated that Mopley Riding Club was founded after the tragic death of Albert Nicholas at Mopley Farm. The founders all rode Alberts Pony’s. Stuart did so much for the club over 30 years and he will be sadly missed.

John Bellamy wrote

In his middle 60's Stuart discovered Hamilton Hall and this was to become a regular refuge for him. A 'hotel with a soul' where he discovered friendship and togetherness in a way he had missed for most of his life.
As a free guest, we loved and cared for the old bugger. He would potter around helping as best he could - and would sit in the lounge waiting and watching to see who was coming in and who he could share a chat with, and he was almost never alone. In his ' I LIKE HUGS' t-shirt, he was well known by a decade of visitors as he stayed at least 20 - 30 weekends a year - sometimes more - always as my guest for free - and he soon became part of the family.

We tried helping him with his weight and instead of loosing 2 stone - he gained 2 stone - and he was a 'naughty boy' when it came to food and he was banned from puddings, sweets & candies, but he had his way of secrety hiding Wagon Wheels - and his health deteriorated at a time when we were trying to help him.
You can lead a horse to water....

Many knew him here and scores have mentioned him since our Blog about him, and remember him with great affection and a smile and often a funny story of something he said or did that will always be remembered.

Bless you Stuart., Bless you.

John Bellamy

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Sherry wrote

No more sitting in your kitchen for hours discussing everything from tractors to the stock market. You had many interests and we had such laughs. I'll miss your company and friendship.

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Freda and George lit a candle
Vicky Cooper posted a picture

Uncle Stuart,with his best friend if over 64 years, my uncle Michael x

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Vicky Cooper posted a picture

Uncle Stuart,with his best friend for over 64 years,my uncle Michael. Both are missed so much.♥️♥️

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Kathy Hawes posted a picture

Mopley Riding Club January 2004 at Exbury Club. MRC Anniversary too.

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Kathryn Hawes posted a picture

Stuart in his Postman uniform, stood in his garden.

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Vicky Cooper wrote

uncle Stuart. You will be sadly missed. Always In our thoughts. Vicky,Paul,Adam, Joshua hollie-mae and Jack xxx

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Debbie Cooper wrote

Dear Stuart, so sad to know your no longer with us.
All my life I’ve known you as uncle Stuart even though we weren’t actually related.
You were michaels best mate for over 64 years and I know you never recovered from the shock of his death in January, as we spoke about it on a weekly basis up until your sad death.
You allways told us you thought of us as your only family after the very sad loss of your mum, we included you in all our family events, Christmas, weddings and even holidays with us all.
Many a Sunday in the summer you would join us at the beach hut for a drink and something to eat, we all know how you loved your food, in the winter you would go to michaels home for a Sunday roast smothered in rich thick gravy.
The new forest show is a place where Michael and I allways came and chatted while you manned the stall whether it was Norris and sons or the publicity group.
Your stallion Harry sired foals for us a few years back which we were very pleased with.
Dave myself and the family will miss your smiling face but know that your reunited with your parents and your probably up to mischief with Michael like you were in life
RIP dear Stuart xx

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Debs Cooper lit a candle
Kathy Hawes posted a picture

Stuart’s good friend Eileen Lemoignan with 3 others at one of the many shows he attended.

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Kathy Hawes posted a picture

Stuart and his very good friend Eileen Lemoignan at our wedding at Botleigh Grange 16.02.02

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Stuart looking very smart at our wedding at Botley Grange 16.02.02.

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Alexis & Mick McEvoy wrote

Alexis and Mick McEvoy

We are very sorry to hear this sad news.

We first met Stuart not long after we moved to Langley. Mick used to have a drink with him in the Langley Tavern and later Stuart would on many occasions, come into our restaurant for his Sunday lunch. He quickly latched on to my role as Councillor and ensured I knew what jobs needed to be done in the area.

Stuart was a warm, friendly and kind gentleman. One of a kind. So sad to see the loss of one of the last of Langley’s local characters.

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Alexis & Mick McEvoy wrote

We are very sorry to hear this sad news.

We first met Stuart not long after we moved to Langley. Mick used to have a drink with him in the Langley Tavern and later Stuart would on many occasions, come into our restaurant for his Sunday lunch. He quickly latched on to my role as Councillor and ensured I knew what jobs needed to be done in the area.

Stuart was a warm, friendly and kind gentleman. One of a kind. So sad to see the loss of one of the last of Langley’s local characters.

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Katie Gilbert lit a candle
Katie Gilbert is attending the funeral
Katie Gilbert posted a picture

A few favourites of uncle Stuart, a true gentleman who will be sadly missed ❤️ With love from Katie & Simon.xx

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Vicki and Tony Humphrey posted a picture

Stuart and his Royal mail family in the early 90s

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Brenda Jackman wrote

My dearest and oldest friend Stuart. Thankyou for looking after me so well and getting me to school safely everyday. Fond memories I’ll keep forever. You were the salt of the earth and I’ll miss knowing you’re not just down the road. Rest in peace dear friend. One of a kind. Xxx

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Kathryn Hawes posted a picture

Ah yes, if no tea and cake then.....

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  • Great photo , Stuart loved his holidays x

    Posted by Vicki on 10/08/2019 Report abuse
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Kathy Hawes wrote

We have had to say good bye to Uncle Stuart. The neighbour we couldn’t get rid of, the man who was always ready for a cuppa and a piece of cake and never missed the children’s birthdays, not sure if that was out of love of the children or love of cake? 🤔🤷‍♀️😂🎂🍰☕️

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  • He did like his food and wine did uncle Stuart, I sent him home from my parties with a doggy bag on many occasions, and always a tin of shortbread at Christmas, he’d phone to say thankyou in the new year and say he ate them faster than he should have but he enjoyed them.xx

    Posted by Katie on 11/08/2019 Report abuse
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Kathy Hawes posted a picture

Uncle Stuart looking very smart in Mum and Dads garden next door to Stuart at Lepe. On his way with my folks and brother to Alex’s 1st birthday and Naming Ceremony, where Uncle Stuart became Alex’s Godfather. June 2006.

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  • A lovely photo of Stuart x

    Posted by Vicki on 10/08/2019 Report abuse
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  • RIP Stuart, my Postman and old school chum. A local character and gentleman.

    Posted by Maxine on 10/08/2019 Report abuse
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