‘The lorries were Bill’s life’: West Norfolk businessman remembered

A Lorry leading the funeral cortege for Businessman/Haulage Business Founder William George at Mintlyn Crematorium King's Lynn ANL-170301-141213009
A Lorry leading the funeral cortege for Businessman/Haulage Business Founder William George at Mintlyn Crematorium King's Lynn ANL-170301-141213009

The life of a businessman from Blackborough End has been celebrated in a unique way by his family, friends and colleagues.

William George, who founded his haulage firm WM George Recycling in the late 1940s, recently passed away aged 92.

Businessman William George with members of his family. Photo: SUPPLIED. ANL-170401-115615001

Businessman William George with members of his family. Photo: SUPPLIED. ANL-170401-115615001

After decades of building up his business, it was only fitting for Mr George’s send-off to include one of the firm’s lorries, which was used to lead the funeral cortege to Mintlyn Crematorium in Lynn on Tuesday.

The lorry, which was the last one Mr George purchased, is named after the businessman, with the word ‘Billy’ painted on the front.

Mr George’s daughter-in-law Marie said: “Using the lorry was a joint decision between Bill’s sons and his wife. The lorries were Bill’s life ever since the Second World War. It wouldn’t have been right without having a lorry in there somewhere.”

Mr George passed away at his home in Blackborough End on December 15.

William George lorry. ANL-170401-160227001

William George lorry. ANL-170401-160227001

He is survived by his wife Margaret whom he married in 1953, two sons Gary and Kevin, two daughters-in-law, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

His family will remember him for his business mind and his passion for travel.

His son Gary said: “He loved driving around Europe – which led to another of his enterprises ‘Suntents International’, a self-drive and coach holiday company which had tents and caravans in France, Spain, Italy and Austria.

“He would think nothing of catching a ferry from Calais or Zeebrugge and driving 800 miles straight down to Spain, just stopping off for a coffee now and then, and then driving across the French Riviera to Italy, up through to Austria and then home. He loved it.”

William George lorry. ANL-170401-160216001

William George lorry. ANL-170401-160216001

Mr George junior said that in the early 90s his father had to have a triple heart bypass at Papworth but that “couldn’t slow him down.”

“He bought a house in Florida and travelled all over the Sunshine State for a rest!,” Mr George added.

His business sense came to the forefront in the 1940s when he invested in a small lorry and started hauling sand and gravel around.

He hired a pit in Blackborough End which he bought outright in 1970, and during this time he built the business up and added further pits in different places around Norfolk.