George James Porter 1946 - 2017
From the Parish News – April 2017
St Mary’s Church was packed on Saturday, February 25th for George Porter’s memorial service. George was technically an Earsham resident of course but was regarded by everyone in Denton as “one of us”. He was born 70 years ago in Aberdeen, the only son of a baker and the youngest of 4 children. Sadly when he was only 6 years old his father drowned leaving his widow with a family to provide for. As George's mother was working long hours a great deal of his childhood was spent at the farm of the Stewart family, friends of his sister Pat. It was from Sandy Stewart that his love of farming grew.
It was a natural progression for George to then go on to agricultural college and from there into the potato trade, working firstly in Dundee and then for Anglian Produce in charge of their grading station and later as Marketing Manager.
In 1976 he formed Hilliard & Porter, marketing potatoes. In the early years it wasn't unknown for business meetings to take place on the bedroom steps before the office was built at Wash Cottage. The company was a success and later expanded to having an office in Spalding and for a time in York. This was a very happy time for George.
In 1990 his business partner bought Sprowston Manor Golf Club and George became its Managing Director, despite not playing golf at the time. In a similar vein, not knowing a great deal about cars didn't stop him from running Belchers Garage in Bungay before he retired. In later years he became a member of Bungay Golf Club and played on a regular basis with fellow Dentonians.
When George married Sally in 1970 they bought Wash Cottage, then a small two-up/two-down from the 1600s, surrounded by a field. As the years went by, the house was extended until it became the family house that it is today, hosting countless dinner parties, fancy dress New Year's Eve parties, Christmas gatherings and family meals. George would shine as 'Front of House' whilst Sally would cook up a culinary feast.
An enthusiastic gardener, one of George’s many contributions to village life included organising the annual bulk purchasing of seeds for Gardening Club members. He rarely missed a Club meeting. He also made a major contribution to the Variety Club in a variety of roles. He was the Producer of the club’s adult productions for six years running but was happy to contribute as one of the stagehands in others. He always swore he would not appear on stage but eventually was forced into some entertaining cameo roles. Finally he served as an excellent Chairman of the Club. Never a great fan of cider drinking, he was nevertheless always there with his carving skills when the Black Hand Cyder Society held a hog-roast.
George was, of course, a great family man and was never happier than spending time with his ever-expanding family. That feeling was always reciprocated by his three daughters, Zoë, Alex and Beth, their husbands and his beloved grandchildren. Our sympathy for their loss must go to all of them but most of all to his devoted wife, Sally.
The collection at the memorial service raised £1,500 to be divided equally between MacMillan Nurses and Denton Village Hall.