We received the sad news this week that crane and access industry veteran Dave George passed away on Saturday. He was 74
He had been suffering from prostate cancer for a number of years, and after a number of partial remissions, he was told earlier this year that there was nothing more that could be done and that the treatments were simply causing unpleasant side effects. Having ended them he had hoped to visit Vertikal Days in May, but in the end he felt too weak to make it. He had been a highly valued member of the Vertikal Days team for many years as the safety officer, while helping with traffic and marshalling etc.. the last time being the highly complex heavy crane traffic arrangements at Silverstone 2017.
He was admitted to the Royal Gwent hospital in Newport hospital last month, following a fall and developed further complications, but passed away peacefully on Saturday, surrounded by his family. He leaves behind wife Margot and two sons, Paul and Andrew.
Dave George grew up in Bristol and after school took an apprenticeship as a hydraulics engineer. He joined local crane rental company GW Sparrows & Sons and sometime later moved to Grove Cranes where he started to expand his range of skills into training, safety and the like. Later moves took him to Lansing Linde as warranty manager- where he met Margot, and then Simon Gloster Saro which gave him his first taste of the access industry. From there he joined Nationwide Access where he really established his access career. When it came time to retire he decided to set up his own safety consulting company Access Quality Solutions and mostly worked with AFI, but it was also at this time that he joined the Vertikal Days team.
He also worked with the RAF Charitable Trust’s Royal Air Tattoo/Fairford air show where he helped out, particularly organising a platform each year for high level photography and filming. In addition to all this he was registered as a sports Anti-doping agent, called on from time to time to turn up unannounced at the homes of athletes with his ‘little pee bottles’ as he would put it, to carry out random drug tests.
He was a special character, even if you did not know too much about him, you felt you knew him well. If there had been an Olympic sport for talking, chatting and anecdotes he would have taken the gold every time. He loved his time at Vertikal Days mostly because it got him involved with his first love of cranes and provided a perfect opportunity to catch up with former colleagues. Many is the time he would come back to the organiser’s office and say “you won’t guess who I have just seen!”
He also continued to learn and soaked up new ideas like a sponge. Another favourite statement on returning to the office was “have you seen that gizmo that xyz is showing? That would be perfect for …..” or "That's a clever bit of kit that".
The problem was that there was never a shortage of good conversation in his company - a problem because it rarely included anything much about him and his life. Having felt that I have known him forever and feeling I knew him exceptionally well when I sat down to detail his career I found that actually I was struggling on the detail, So please anyone who can help fill in the gaps and chronology please do – Dave was a special character – a much loved character – a larger than life character – and he deserves a decent and accurate tribute to a long and varied career in both the crane and access industries.
I know for certain that I speak for all of us at Vertikal when I say we have lost a much loved colleague.
Rest in peace Dave
Funeral arrangements are as follows:
Monday 24th September at 13:00
Greenmeadow Golf & Country Club next door to the Crematorium.