Mr Arthur McTaggart Short, of Penylan House, Cardiff, another son of Bideford, but who has found success in other parts, has retained a deep affection for his native Borough to which he has given generous and practical expression on many occasions.
Born in 1896, Mr Short left Bideford some forty years ago and in Cardiff was introduced to Hire Purchase Sales, acting as organiser and secretary to a combine of twelve retail shops for drapery, millinery, etc. working up sales, developing branches and generally placing the business upon a sound financial basis.
Some years later, following service in the Welsh Regiment during the first world war, he joined Welsh Sports Ltd as manager of what was then a small shop. Today the business is recognised as one of the most progressive retail establishments in the county. This year Mr Short is the President of the National Chamber of Trade.
As a relaxation from business, Mr Short has spent a lifetime in voluntary work among boys visiting Eisteddfod, clubs and camps where he gives popular travel lectures. He has been a keen Scout since the inception of the movement and spent very many years in organising work among scouts in Cardiff, in addition to being a Commissioner for Training Scouts, and was decorated by the Chief Scout and the Danish Boy Scout Association for his services. He was also second-in-command of the Cardiff Sea Scouts. He became widely known to the youth of Wales as a wireless ‘Uncle’ in the years between the wars.
Recently Mr Short had conferred on him by the King of Denmark, the honour of Chevalier of the Royal Order of Dannebrog in recognition of his services since 1924 to the World Friendship Federation of which he is co-founder, and Worldfriends youth organisation of which he is founder. The World Friendship Federation, which has its international headquarters in Copenhagen, has consultative status with UNESCO.
In May 1950, as a token of his affection for Bideford and to commemorate the Mayoralty of Mr W H Short, his brother, Mr Short made gifts in case totalling 330 guineas as well as other gifts to the town and local organisations. Among his gifts to the Borough were robes for the Aldermen and Councillors, jewels for ex-Mayors, the fitting of the arms of the Borough in stained glass in Bideford Parish Church, and a rare Jacobean wine bin to be added to the collection of silver plate as a memento of the Festival of Britain.
Two years before he had defrayed the cost of providing the fluorescent lighting for the Town Hall and other rooms on the first floor of the municipal buildings. In the summer of last year he handed over to the Borough his valuable collection of Victorian card cases, a unique collection of over one thousand pieces that are valued as art specimens at over £5,000.