Obituary: David Birtchnell – founder of Highcliffe furniture shop Birtchnells
THE founder of a family-run business in Highcliffe who was known for his dedication to customers has died aged 74.
David Birtchnell set up Birtchnells Furniture Shop in Highcliffe in 1980 with his wife, Valerie. In 2014, after Valerie passed away, the family relaunched under the management of the couple’s daughter Chrissy and her husband.
Only-child David was born in Chingford in Essex but moved to Poole as a youngster, where his family set up a furniture business called Windsors.
Aged around 14 he left school to work for the family business and remained in the trade for the rest of his life. He met future wife Valerie, who worked in her family’s bakery shop, on a blind date.
Together they founded Birtchnells and started trading in the high street in Highcliffe before moving to their current larger premises in Lymington Road.
They had three children: Maria, Emma and Chrissy. Sadly, Emma died in 1986 at the age of three from leukaemia. David also had three grandchildren: Caitlin, Elsie and Zachary.
In his spare time David enjoyed boating, golf, tennis and watching AFC Bournemouth.
Daughter Chrissy told the A&T: “He would do anything for anyone, whether a customer or not. I hear most days the expression about him, that he was one of life’s true gentlemen.
“He was the kindest and bravest man I have ever met, who always had time for every person he met.
“Chatting for hours to individual customers, even going to their houses to help with decisions. He will be so greatly missed.”
David’s funeral will be held at Bournemouth Crematorium on 6th November. Donations in his memory can be made in aid of Macmillan Caring Locally at www.memorygiving.com/davidrobertbirtchnell