George Baker - Eulogy
Post date: Jul 17, 2016 4:41:13 PM
Back in May we had the sad news that George Baker had passed away. George's wife Pat has now sent a copy of his eulogy which we are sure will be of great interest to everyone who knew him.
George was born in Greenwich, South East London. Aged ten, he was evacuated to Callington in Cornwall. His happiest childhood memories were those spent with the Duance family there. He was extremely fond of the and visited them often.
He won a scholarship to attend Roan Grammar School in Blackheath.
George joined the Territorial Army, which was another enjoyable episode when he was young. There, he trained with the SAS and became a Radio Operator. He belonged to the parachute regiment and spent a lot of time jumping out of aircraft and from barrage balloons. (His real ambition in life was to work in ballistics).
When he left school, George worked as a Shipping Clerk for Blue Star Line, then moved to Shaw Savill Line. It was here he met and later married Pat in 1965. When Shaw Savill Line merged with Furness Withy, he joined Overseas Containers from where he retired in 1993. He went on a world trip on one of their vessels following his retirement.
So, by day George was a City worker and once home, it was all change into "working gear" when he either did a print run - he had two treadle operated printing machines in the cellar - or messed around with clock components, or paint up old tools to sell at a boot sale (another of his delights). He also held a "Street Traders Badge" as he sold some of his gimmicks,i.e. Backseat Driving Licences and Drinking Licences, in Petticoat Lane on a Sunday morning. Then there were his old bottles!!! Most families went to the beach at weekends, we had outings digging up old bottles from dumps!!
He had numerous interests and an excellent stamp collection. He took up book binding and made a traction engine as well studied clock repairs at evening classes. He loved quizzes and won The Brain of Shooters Hill, beating his daughter's Science teacher. Latterly clocks took up a lot of his time, he loved the challenge of getting them working and really appreciated the intricacies of clock movements.
George had a keen eye for antiques. The house slowly filled with memorabilia of all sorts. He collected fountain pens, lighters, china, handmade glass, bottle openers, corkscrews, nutcrackers, cameras, old 78 and 45 records, cigarette cards, football magazines and much more besides.
He was very knowledgeable, affable, loyal person. Always cheerful. There were many facets to his character. City worker during the day, once home he became anything from a carpenter to a clockmaker!!! Yet, there was a naivety about George.
A unique and unforgettable character.