George Austin died on Thursday, 7th February aged 82. He learnt to ring at Hatfield Hertfordshire in the late 1950s and was delighted when he completed his 50-year life membership of the HCACR in April 2009. He was a very private man and lived a bachelor’s life at his house in Welham Green. I used to walk with him the few hundred yards from the tower to where we parked our cars and we’d chat about the ringing we’d just been doing and I often tried to engage him in other conversation but getting information out of George was not easy. It took me about ten years to find out that he not only played bowls but was also actually rather good at it and had represented his club at County level and was also a County Umpire.
I didn’t know until just last week that he had not one but two younger sisters.

His sister told me that he left school at the age of 14 and did an Engineering Apprenticeship in South London. After two years’ National Service in the Navy he returned to Hatfield and worked as a toolmaker at De Havilland on the Comet Jetliner and later transferred to the Drawing Office. He retired in the early 1990s.

He spent many of his evenings at various practice nights especially Essendon, Northaw, North Mymms, Ridge and, of course, Hatfield. George was always keen and was able to ring a wide range of methods very competently, but he also had great patience with learners and taught many people to ring in the St Albans District. He would have been delighted to hear that Jonathan rang his first quarter peal two days after he died.


Service at North Mymms at 1.30pm on Friday, 1st March followed by Cremation at Knebworth at 2.45pm. Family Flowers only. Donations to RNLI.


Hatfield, Herts. 9 Feb, 1260 Doubles (5m): Claire Nicholson 1, W Robert E T Goss 2, Andrew Case 3, Bjorn Bradstock (C) 4, John J Ford 5, Jonathan Bottoms (1st Q) 6. Rung in memory of George Austin.

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