In memory of Brian Longden
Born and raised in Great Harwood in 1957, Brian briefly lived in Nottingham and came to live in Blackburn in 1976. He’d worked on security at Granby for more than 10 years and was a familiar face to clients, partners and suppliers visiting our HQ in Stanley Street.
One of the jobs he did prior to working at Granby was delivering the Lancashire Telegraph, taking on multiple paper rounds.
Terri, Brian’s daughter, said: “My dad enjoyed working at Granby and got on with everyone who worked there. He used to say that Granby is good at ensuring employees are recognised for stuff they do. He used to talk about different events and BBQs that are held. I used to tell dad how good Granby are with him and others and he always agreed.”
Brian was laid to rest at Accrington cemetery on 17 October. He loved music and some of his favourites – by Iggy Pop, Bette Midler, David Bowie and Lou Reed – were played during his memorial service.
“I’ve sought shelter from the storm, I’ve sat on the dock of the bay
I’ve rocked around the clock, on a sunshiny day
I’ve knocked on Heaven’s door, while blowing in the wind
Joy to the world those were the days my friend
Lay lady lay, in crimson and clover
It’s been a hard day’s night, the party’s over.”
From a poem, sometimes called ‘Reflections of a boomer’, by an unknown author, read at Brian’s memorial service.
In the weeks after Brian’s death, we organised a raffle to raise money for Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest music therapy charity. Brian’s life-long love of music and his daughter Terri’s history of working with disabled adults led him to support the charity, which uses music to enrich the lives of people who experience life-limiting illness, disabilities or feelings of isolation.
In December, we awarded bravery certificates to his colleagues Magda and Julie, two of our first aiders, who performed CPR on Brian until the paramedics arrived. Hassan, another colleague who was with Brian and raised the alarm when he was first taken ill, also received a certificate.
In addition, with Terri as a special guest, we hosted a fundraising event for our staff – a special lunch date where we tucked into great food – to the soundtrack of more of Brian’s favourite music! In the new year, we’ll be adding his name to a memorial bench plaque in Granby’s grounds, close to the security officer’s building, alongside another late colleague, Billy Doyle.
Dave Saunders, Brian’s line manager for 10 years, said: “Character is one of the greatest motive powers in the world. In its noblest embodiments, it exemplifies human nature in its highest forms, for it exhibits man at his best; this is Brian. He was a trusted and loyal employee and a friend who will be solely missed at Granby.”
Phil Meldrum, another colleagues, said: “I have known Brian for 10 years and during this time he has always been professional and impeccable in his approach to his job at Granby, and he dealt with people on a daily basis, both clients and staff alike. Brian was a really nice guy and a genuine pleasure to know, a real gentleman.”
Victoria Pittman, Head of Client Services and Business Development, said: “I’m often the last one to leave the office and it became our habit to tell each other really awful jokes at the gate. He said his family was his life, but Terri told me his family was Granby too, which is really touching – we felt the same.”