Tributes have been paid to Laurie Hardman the owner of Broadhurst's bookshop in Southport.Laurie with author Terry Pratchett on a visit to the shop

By Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

Tributes have been paid to Laurie Hardman, the owner of Broadhurst’s bookshop in Southport town centre. 

Mr Hardman began working at the iconic shop, on Market Street, in 1969. 

His love of books and reading saw him become the figurehead at the shop for an incredible 55 years, well known by generations of local book lovers. 

He will be much missed. 

A Broadhurst’s bookshop statement said: “We are saddened to announce the death of our proprietor, boss, and friend, Laurie Hardman. 

“He was the heart and soul of Broadhurst’s for many years, and will be much missed in the months and years to come.

“We will be closed on Wednesday 5th June for his (private) funeral.

Tributes have been paid to Laurie Hardman the owner of Broadhurst's bookshop in Southport Photo: Broadhurst's

Tributes have been paid to Laurie Hardman the owner of Broadhurst’s bookshop in Southport
Photo: Broadhurst’s

“As a bookseller Laurie touched the lives of book-lovers in Southport and far beyond, having started working here in 1969 (probably never imagining that he would come to own the bookshop!)

“Many a child passing through our doors gazed up in amazement at his 6’7″ height (as did a fair few adults!) – and his dexterity in wrapping a brown paper parcel to perfection never failed to draw admiring glances from those who love brown paper packages tied up with string…

“The times when favourite authors and even celebrities passing through the doors, for book signings or just as customers, were always exciting – never more so than when we hosted the wonderful Sir Terry Pratchett for a signing in 2008 (an author much loved by Laurie).

Tributes have been paid to Laurie Hardman the owner of Broadhurst’s bookshop in Southport
Photo: Broadhurst’s

“For us booksellers, he was a boss who was always entertaining, often generous, and taught us so much about the world of bookselling. 

“He was a man who loved books to his very core, and both recognised and valued that in others (even when you loved books or authors he disliked!)

“Broadhurst’s will never be quite the same without Laurie, and we will miss him very much. “But we will continue on his literary legacy in the bookshop as best we can – there may be new faces sitting in his chair, but the bookselling spirit he taught us will go on. RIP Laurie.” 

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