Businessman Tony Hill, who has died aged 81, was well known by many people in Southport and once claimed to have sold a property ‘in every street’ in the town. Andrew Brown reports
Antony Hill worked in Southport for more than half a century and his name was a familiar sight on sale boards across the town. He has died aged 81 after a short illness.
Known to friends and family as Tony, he joined the Hatch and Fielding estate agency in Southport in the early 1960s after becoming one of the country’s youngest chartered surveyors at the age of 22.
He would become a partner in the firm and helped drive its expansion which saw the opening of six offices throughout the area. His monthly auctions from the company’s Lord Street premises of items from house sales became a fixture among the town’s antique collectors and bargain hunters.
After selling the business in 1986 he formed his own company, the Antony Hill Partnership, on Hoghton Street, working exclusively with the commercial sector.
Tony once claimed to have sold a property in every street in Southport. Among his most notable deals was the sale of the old infirmary, on Scarisbrick New Road, and the Lakeside Miniature Railway.
During his years working in Southport the father-of-two was a champion for the town. He lobbied against the introduction of on-street parking charges in the 1990s, for reform of the business rates system and as an early advocate of the redevelopment of the indoor market.
Although he never really retired, continuing to help his daughter Helen’s property management business in the town, away from work he was a member of Southport Rotary Club, the Union Club, Round Table and Hillside Golf Club.
Tony’s son and former Southport Visiter journalist Mike Hill said: “It was only after I started working in Southport that I realised just how well respected and liked my dad was in the town.
“Whenever I would talk to him about stories or issues in the town he always knew the people involved and had an opinion worth hearing. Although born and brought up in Liverpool he loved Southport and its people and was a passionate believer in the town.”
Tony died on October 4 peacefully in his sleep at home a few weeks after being diagnosed with stomach cancer. He was 81. He leaves a widow Pearl, son Michael, daughter Helen and five grandchildren, Olivia, Sam, Daisy, Antony and Daniel.
His funeral will take place at St Peter’s Church, in Formby, at 10.30am on Monday, October 17, followed by a short service at Southport Crematorium at 12pm.