Eddie Topping, one of the pioneers of garden centre retailing in the UK, sadly passed away peacefully with his family around him yesterday evening (Monday 6th September 2021)
Eddie started his own market garden business in 1955, before setting up a landscaping company in 1957 and then opening the region’s first garden centre in 1963 in the grounds of the then Barton Grange Hotel. After 65 years at the helm of one of the UK's most successful garden centre businesses, Eddie Topping stepped down as Chairman of The Barton Grange Group back in March this year.
Prior to that Eddie could often be found in the garden centre chatting to staff and customers, he loved and cherished the business he had developed with his family.
Eddie was an influential character in the industry, as President of the Horticultural Trades Association and Chairman of the Garden Centre Association over the years.
Forever loyal to his Lancashire roots, Eddie always supported local charities and organisations in the Preston area and, in 2003, he was awarded the MBE for services to charity in Preston.
Eddie was also a past president of Preston North Rotary Club, of which he has been a member for over fifty years, and an Honorary Fellow of Myerscough College.
We will publish details of the arrangements later in the week.
Above: Guy and Eddie Topping in 2010 pictured for GTN's Generation Game interview.
If you'd like to add your thoughts or memories of Eddie, please use the comments link below or e-mail email@example.com and we'll include them in the next issue of GTN Xtra.
John Ashley writes: Eddie Topping was the Garden Industry when I joined Fisons in 1972 he was HTA GCA and his own growing business. Always welcoming and supportive and helpful to newcomers to this new industry.Eddie was a people person and always a pleasure to be in his company.
He will be missed but never forgotten. Guy is a chip of the old block so he never will be forgotten.May he rest in peace.