Autumn 2020

James Fisher board member Sir David Hardy: An obituary

Sir David Hardy, who died aged 89 in April 2020, was a well-known public figure who was knighted for his role in the development of London’s Docklands Light Railway, but he is remembered with affection by James Fisher because he was a long-serving board member – and briefly chairman of the group in 1993. 

Sir David served ten years on the board of James Fisher as non-executive director, then going on to serve as a trustee of the Sir John Fisher Foundation which was created to support maritime causes, medical research and community projects in the North-West, for a further eleven years until retiring in 2015.

‘His experience, opinions and knowledge provided huge benefit to the board,’

Says Michael Shields who served on the board and as a trustee with him

‘as a trustee he was well informed, interesting and unfailingly generous. His personality, knowledge, encouragement and kindness are fondly remembered.’ 

He was said to be particularly proud of James Fisher’s role in the recovery of a Russian submarine, the Priz, stranded on the floor of the Pacific Ocean off Kamchatka in 2005, where seven submariners were successfully rescued.  

Born in Cheshire on 14 July 1930, Sir David was educated at Wellington and qualified as a chartered accountant before National Service in Germany with the Royal Horse Artillery. Htravelled to New York, where for ten years he worked for FunchEdye & Co, Cunard’s US ship agent and broker, and returned to London in 1970 to serve in Edward Heath’s government as a co-ordinator of industrial advisers

His Docklands track record and background in shipping (plus a rumoured but unproven family connection to Capt. Thomas Hardy of Trafalgar fame) brought him to the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, which flourished under his chairmanship from 1995 to 2005. He led the purchase of the flag that as flown at the Battle of Trafalgar, for which the Sir John Fisher Foundation provided a grant. 

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