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Guildford Mourns Gordon Bridger, the Former Mayor Who Loved His Town

Published on: 27 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 1 Dec, 2020

Gordon Bridger

By Martin Giles

Hon Alderman Gordon Bridger died this morning (November 27) at his home in Castle Hill, his family has announced. He was 92.

He leaves his wife of 61 years, Jean, a daughter, Diane and son, Jeremy.

His daughter said: “He died peacefully at home surrounded by his family in his favourite spot overlooking the Castle Gardens and the town he loved.

“He had a long, fruitful, happy life ‘doing his best’.”

Dragon editor Martin Giles said: “This is a very sad day for Guildford. Gordon Bridger was an inspirational figure, never allowing himself to sit back and allow events to unfold. He wanted to influence events and use his considerable knowledge, intelligence and formidable energy to best effect.

“He remained determinedly active, sending messages and commenting on local affairs until the end. He will be deeply missed.”

Gordon Bridger was born and brought up in Argentina and studied at the London School of Economics and Manchester University before going to live and work what was then Rhodesia, where he met Jean. From there, he joined the United Nations in Ethiopia and later transferred to Chile.

When the British Ministry of Overseas Development was formed, he was recruited as a senior economic adviser, then promoted to director of Country Programmes.

Taking early retirement, he became an economic consultant and entered local politics in 1991 in Guildford as a Liberal Democrat, becoming Mayor in 2003. He stood down as a councillor in 2007.

He was diagnosed with new cancer a month ago, his fourth attack.

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test 12 Responses to Guildford Mourns Gordon Bridger, the Former Mayor Who Loved His Town

  1. Jan Messinger Reply

    November 27, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    What a shock seeing his recent letter of 19 November and his many comments on Guildford Dragon NEWS items. Guildford will be losing a former councillor who was interested in his town until the end.

    • Carmel Rogers Reply

      November 28, 2020 at 9:33 pm

      A sad day. A lovely man .

  2. John Perkins Reply

    November 28, 2020 at 11:04 am

    My condolences to Gordon’s family. He will be much missed. I shall continue his work in opposition to SANG as best I can.

  3. Paul Spooner Reply

    November 28, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Guildford has lost another passionate community campaigner and I join many who will be mourning the loss of Gordon this weekend.

    I thoroughly enjoyed my meetings with Gordon during my time as leader and always found Gordon a very courteous man with a very determined approach to life and his campaigns.

    Guildford is the poorer for the loss of Gordon and my thoughts are with his wife and family at this time. RIP Gordon.

    Paul Spooner is the Conservative ‘independent’ borough councillor for Ash South & Tongham.

  4. Mike Sinclair Reply

    November 28, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    Gordon was a long term much respected member of Guildford Probus 83 Club. He was a friend of many and always a delightful and interesting person to converse with. His knowledge of the world was great, his views humane and his analysis of world events both clear and enlightening. He loved Guildford and he was all about seeking ways to make things better.

    Our sympathy is with the family he loved.

  5. Alan Young Reply

    November 28, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    What an immeasurable loss for Guildford. Alderman Bridger kept working right to the end of his life and his mind remained as sharp as that of men many decades his junior. His years of experience in the UK and abroad, allied to his training as an economist, made him a formidable opponent in any debate.

    But what he will be remembered for above all else is his unswerving devotion to the people of Guildford and his unfailing ability to put their interests first. He will be greatly missed.

  6. Alistair Smith Reply

    November 28, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    A remarkable life. The Guildford Society was lucky to have the benefit of his intelligence, humour, energy and good advice for over 50 years. His passing is a real loss to the town.

    Alistair Smith is the chair of The Guildford Society.

  7. Vicky Barlow Reply

    November 29, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    Gordon was a remarkable man, with a formidable intellect and a real zest for political debate. His energy and commitment to the general good never seemed to wane, despite several bouts of illness. Guildford owes him a huge amount.

    Please can we have a road named after him or, even better, a new community centre?

  8. Ian and Salma Sams Reply

    November 30, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    Deepest condolences to Jean and family. Gordon was a lovely man with a very funny sense of humour, whom we met during his mayoral year as fellow Surrey Mayors in 2003. He will be sorely missed.

  9. Alison & Chris Farara Reply

    December 1, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Dear Gordon will be very much missed by us. Our friendship started many years ago when his wife Jean recruited me (Alison) to help start the Beano vegetarian restaurant in the Guildford Institute.

    We had several holidays with Gordon and Jean including some to Argentina where Gordon was a marvellous planner and guide and where his fluent Spanish allowed him to chat to local people, taxi drivers and the like, and so find out what was really going on.

    We also had many happy times with them in their seaside retreat in St Ives.

    Gordon was always such good company; time spent with him was never wasted and always entertaining, stimulating, instructive and, above all, great fun. We were privileged to know him so well. May God bless him.

  10. Dennis Paul Reply

    December 10, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    Sad news; my condolences to his family. I enjoyed our meetings as a ward councillor with HTAG and the odd coffee discussing council matters.

    A real good egg with a big heart for his community. His leadership and contribution will be missed.

  11. Christian Holliday Reply

    December 10, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    I’m very sorry to hear of Gordon’s passing. He was devoted to his town and Country. I am grateful for his input during the EU referendum campaign. My condolences to his family.

    I hope Guildford Borough Council marks his life and dedication to duty in due course.

    Christian Holliday was the organiser of Brexit campaign in Guildford and is a former Conservative borough councillor.

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