Twin town talisman George dies aged 91

George Davies
George Davies

A COMMUNITY champion who dedicated decades to building bridges between Hastings and its twin towns has died aged 91.

George Davies was involved in the twinning link with Bethune before setting up the Hastings-Schwerte Friendship Association in 1982, and over the years he took hundreds of people over to Germany as part of the scheme. He also played a massive part in welcoming European visitors here to Hastings, promoting long-lasting relationships across the continent.

Reg Wood, who served with Mr Davies on the Hastings Association of Twin Towns, said: “He was so dedicated to the community and in his younger days he was chairman of everything. Twinning was a wonderful idea has been a huge success for the town. He will be much-missed and the trip to Schwerte in May will be very poignant.”

Mr Davies served in the Air Force during the Second World War before setting up the Dawn and Dorset Laundry in Elphinstone Road, becoming a prominent figure in the town. Along with his work with the twinning project he also served on the chamber of commerce, The Muffin Club, The Probus Club and the Mayor’s Civic Ball Committee. In 1987 he was honoured with the Order of 1066, the town’s highest accolade.

Helen Bird MBE, who works as the mayor’s personal assistant and knew Mr Davies well, said: “He was very charity-minded and a really gentle man who was devoted to his family - family was always first for him.”

Mr Davies died on Valentine’s Day surrounded by his relatives at St Michael’s Hospice. His death came just a week after that of his son Simon, who sadly lost his long battle with cancer.

Mr Davies is survived by his wife Norma, children Gill and Andy and grandchildren Carly, Fred, Poppy and James. His funeral will be held at St John’s Church, Pevensey Road, St Leonards, at 12.30pm on Thursday. The family Mr Davies used to stay with in Schwerte are flying over to pay their last repects to him.