Guy Leonard: Tribute to Amberley estate agent who made everyone feel at home

Few people can claim to have had their name emblazoned on thousands of signs across Sussex throughout their working life. But Guy Leonard, who so sadly died last week, was a notable exception. His name was synonymous with the estate agency he founded in the 1990s.
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Guy was a superb estate agent - but as a man, a husband, a father and a friend he was so much more than that. In an article I penned many years ago, I described him as more social worker than seller of houses because of his passionate interest and concern for all those whose lives he touched - always for the better.

He was an elegant, charismatic raconteur - always able to dissolve any group into tears of laughter with the anecdotes from his life. What a rich life it was. Married to Mary and with a son Giles, they were a wonderful team - at the heart of life in their village of Amberley.

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Guy enjoyed being his own boss, but when he sold Guy Leonard and Co in 2011 he decided to concentrate on other interests, not least B&B because he loved meeting so many people from all walks of life.

Mary and Guy Leonard after they received a Visit England Rose 2016 Award while running a B&B at The Thatched House in Amberley.Mary and Guy Leonard after they received a Visit England Rose 2016 Award while running a B&B at The Thatched House in Amberley.
Mary and Guy Leonard after they received a Visit England Rose 2016 Award while running a B&B at The Thatched House in Amberley.

Mary said: "He loved being a part of the wonderful community of Amberley and became involved in many things such as the Amberley Society."

When the village school was threatened, he joined the action committee which successfully saved it. He and Mary opened their gardens for the National Garden Scheme and Action Medical Research. He was very involved in St Michael's Church and was a warden there at one time. Further afield, he was a trustee of the Mary How Trust for many years and Lay Chair of Storrington Deanery Synod and was also on the Bishop's Council.

"He had a great love for animals and was planning a Corgi Challenge to raise funds for Multiple Myeloma however I am afraid his health deteriorated to a point that he was no longer able to pursue this," Mary explained. "He always realised what a special place Amberley was and was so appreciative of all the offers of help and support during his final spell of illness."

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Guy was born in 1945 and brought up in Cheshire. After leaving prep school he went to Worksop College where he quickly became involved in everything - including boxing. Having studied Sociology and Economics at York University, he joined Barclays Bank where his father was a local director.

Guy Leonard was a trustee of the Mary How Trust. He is pictured here from our archive with Christopher Leaver Chairman, standing, Guy Leonard left, Lady Fiona Barttelot Patron and Roanne Moore-Loizides, Marketing and Fundraising Manager, right. Photo by Derek MartinGuy Leonard was a trustee of the Mary How Trust. He is pictured here from our archive with Christopher Leaver Chairman, standing, Guy Leonard left, Lady Fiona Barttelot Patron and Roanne Moore-Loizides, Marketing and Fundraising Manager, right. Photo by Derek Martin
Guy Leonard was a trustee of the Mary How Trust. He is pictured here from our archive with Christopher Leaver Chairman, standing, Guy Leonard left, Lady Fiona Barttelot Patron and Roanne Moore-Loizides, Marketing and Fundraising Manager, right. Photo by Derek Martin

"After several years in the bank he became a bit restless and he felt he needed a change of career so in 1980 he joined Whiteheads in Horsham and it was at this time we bought our first house in Amberley 'Rhiw' where we lived for 26 very happy years," Mary said.

Following Whiteheads, Guy spent a few years with Humberts in Petersfield and then in 1992 he decided to set up his own business, firstly in Storrington and then Pulborough and Horsham. "These were very happy years and Guy finally enjoyed being his own boss!"

Guy was an extraordinary neighbour, business associate and friend - and a very proud husband and dad. His funeral will be on Friday October 7 at 2.30pm at St Michael's Church, Amberley.

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