THE below is an obituary provided to the Advertiser by Barbara North after the passing of Brian Brown, of Chilbolton.

On Monday I joined the family, friends, former colleagues and villagers at a packed St. Mary the Less church in Chilbolton to say farewell to Brian and join in a service of thanksgiving for his life. Brian and his family moved to Andover in the early 1970s and he spent the last 30 years of his life enjoying his retirement in the village of Chilbolton.

Brian was the chief executive of TSB Trust Company. I doubt that anyone who lived in the town and surrounding villages during the 1970s and 1980s has forgotten the enormous impact TSB Trust Company had. His fledgling Unit Trust and insurance broking company moved in to White Bear House, in the Chantry Centre. This was an unusual organisation, part of a mutual savings bank, which had seen the opportunity to introduce unit-based savings to the bank customers and then became both life insurance and general insurance underwriters. The business grew dramatically; Keens House was built and then Charlton Place, a new computer centre and at its height well over 2,000 people were employed. Brian thought of Trust Company as an extended family, and whilst enjoying the prominence it gave him, was always keen to provide the sort of training and benefits for staff not seen before in Andover as well as insisting everyone, including him, also had fun. Many of us had the opportunity to grow with the company and for females especially it was a new chance to develop and assume senior roles. The success of the company also meant money could be invested in the town, especially the Carnival which he loved to take part in – although some thought that renaming the station after a refurbishment was perhaps a step too far!

Brian guided this very successful company into an era when other banks were copying this formula and a need to reduce costs and use bank staff to sell products meant that the TSB Group decided to merge the bank and insurance company and eventually merge with Lloyds Bank. Brian took early retirement in the late 1980s and was then asked to form a new NHS organisation, a trust, and so became the first chairman of the Andover War Memorial Trust in the early 1990s, the smallest NHS Trust in the country. He brought his inimitable enthusiasm to this task, developed a strong team and worked hard to make investments in the local hospital which he felt was a really important asset for the town. His notable achievement was spearheading the development of the Day Case Theatre which is still providing a wonderful facility today. Politics and pressure on budgets (what’s changed!?) saw the hospital merge and Brian spent some interesting years lecturing about trust company’s development, including at the London School of Economics; he also served as a governor at Wherwell Primary School.

His final few days aged 81, supported by his family, were spent at the Countess of Brecknock, a hospice he had always supported.

Brian was larger than life; he loved life and enjoyed it to the full; he loved his family and really cared about people and the place in which he lived and worked. Ok, sometimes he was a pain in the butt – but aren’t we all? There are many of us who do owe Brian a debt of gratitude for the opportunity he gave us to develop to our full potential. Thank you Brian and rest in peace – you deserve to.