Friends bid farewell to tragic local artist

THE funeral of Aboyne artist Brian Hart, who died in a freak cycling accident three weeks ago, took place last Friday, December 27.

Mr Hart died on December 12 when he fell to his death after apparently losing control of his tandem and hitting the parapet of the Glentanar Bridge on the South Deeside road near Aboyne as he cycled to his nearby home.

A memorial service for the 60-year-old, held in the Victory Hall, Aboyne, to celebrate his life, was attended by 200 mourners, who were asked not to wear black at Mr Hart's own request.

A number of works by the popular Deeside artist hung on the walls of the hall which was decorated with orange, red and white flowers and contemporary music was played during the service which also included readings by family and friends of Mr Hart.

Songs by Pink Floyd greeted those arriving at the service, while the Beatles Hey Jude, Dido's Thank You, and Nothing Compares 2U by Sinead O' Connor were also played.

Family friends Simon Spoor and Sara Glass both spoke on behalf of the family and talked of how they will remember Mr Hart. His coffin was then accompanied to Aboyne New Cemetery by a procession of family and friends.

The tragic accident occurred on December 12 as the father-of-six was returning to his home at Dalwhing on the Glentanar Estate after spending the evening at the Huntly Arms Hotel in Aboyne.

Police called in members of the Braemar Mountain Rescue Team to recover Mr Hart's body after a passer-by spotted his bike lying on the bridge but the emergency services were unable to save him.

Mr Hart was one of Aboyne's best-known residents thanks to the annual Brian Hart and Friends art exhibition he put on in the Victory Hall each summer to showcase the talents of local artists.

He was brought up in Dundee but moved to Aberdeen with his parents when he was 11. He settled in Aboyne in the 1970s and became a teacher at Aboyne Academy.

After he stopped teaching professionally Mr Hart and his wife Jay educated their own children at home and he began painting on a full-time basis.

As well as his wife Jay and children Noah, Jonah and Maya, Mr Hart is also survived by his son Toby, 31, and daughter Ayesha, 30, from his first marriage. His first son Jason died at the age of five. Mr Hart also had two grandchildren, Emily, 3 and Cameron, 2.