Sadly George Hill, my old friend of over sixty years, died unexpectedly last Thursday April 14th 2017 at his home in Cardiff.
George and his family moved to Laindon in 1949 when his father James Hill was hired as the first warden of the Laindon Youth Centre. The family originally came from Marsque on the Yorkshire coast. They were given a council house at 2, King Edward Road just five doors away from where I lived with my family at 2 King Edward Terrace. George attended Grays Palmers Grammar School. We became fast friends and worked together in the city, George at Barclays DC&O in Gracechurch Street and I at Joseph Tetley & Co. Ltd. in Worship Street. George later left Barclays to become a male nurse at mental institution, St Bernard’s Hospital in Ealing. (I thought he was mad!) That is where he met and married an Irish nurse, Nan, and they went on to have a happy marriage of over sixty years along with six (I think!) children.
George’s father invented an improved form of shorthand which he called Teeline. George made the marketing and teaching of Teeline his career and it became the leading shorthand in the country, surpassing both Pittman and Gregg. Living first in Brentwood, then Childerditch, then Thundersley, George secured a contract with Thomson newspapers to teach all of their reporters and associated staff. This necessitated moving to Cardiff. Initially the family lived close to the university where he worked. After retirement they moved to Whitchurch a suburb of Cardiff.
I last saw George, Nan and their family almost two years ago when I was visiting the UK. He was a friend for over sixty years and, as I think we could all agree, there are no friends as close as those made in early life. For those on this site who may remember him, please say a prayer for George and the family he has left behind.