Old Pocklingtonian 2019/2020 - Page 23

Growing up , Paul enjoyed many family holidays to Butlin ’ s , Scarborough and The Broads . He could never sit still so holiday time was always busy and family fun unremitting !
Sport , in the early days , occupied the whole family , although Paul always had time for his dinky toys . The brothers , sometimes joined by their father , would play cricket in the back alley where they lived , and spend hours recreating endless test matches .
In May 1953 , after attending primary school in Middlesbrough , Paul joined Lyndhurst , the junior section of Pocklington School as it was then . Brian Madderson ( 53-63 ) joined at the same time and although Paul jumped a year ahead , the two became close friends . They played both rugby and athletics in the school first teams together and even after leaving Pocklington and going their separate ways , remained life-long friends ; Brian was joint Best Man with brother Patrick at Paul ’ s wedding .
Paul shone at Pocklington . He played every game going ( and a few of his own !). He was awarded colours for rugby , cricket and athletics , captained the school ’ s 1st XV rugby team , the Cleveland Schoolboys XV and played in the Yorkshire Schoolboys XV as well as touring with the Pocklington Pixies CC . He was also a School Prefect , House Captain of Dolman , a CCF Marksman and Honorary Secretary of the History Society . He was an active Old Pocklingtonian , attending a number of dinners and events during his life including the school ’ s quincentenary celebrations in 2014 and most recently the OP Newcastle drinks in 2018 .
After Pocklington , he proceeded to Fitzwilliam College , Cambridge . He captained the XL Club ( the university second rugby side ) and became one of the very few members of the Hawks ’ Club , which was filled almost completely by ‘ blues ’. To be elected by your peers as a non-blue meant you had to be very special and a good guy !
Paul joined the well-known , local family owned carpet manufacturers , Mackay & Son as a graduate trainee . He subsequently became Managing Director before the company was sold to a trade buyer .
He met Janet Lamballe and they were married in 1971 . Together they created their own family . Juliet and Alistair were intensely proud of their dad . Paul was also godfather to Brian Madderson ’ s younger son , Jonny , and the two families shared many happy holidays together .
Paul was a keen golfer and it offered him a sanctuary away from business . He played with Brian on many occasions either at Brian ’ s clubs at Wildernesse and The Royal St George ’ s in Sandwich , Kent to his clubs at Brancepeth and Southerness in Scotland with many others in between . Paul loved the game but he loved his friends more ; he was harder on himself than anyone . He was a businessman who knew his staff intimately and treated them all as colleagues and as friends .
As a man , Paul was fair , even-handed , kind and considerate , often laughing , full of fun , even slightly quirky . He had a never-ending fund of ideas , not all carried through to a conclusion but he was not easily put off . He did not suffer fools gladly and he had that tinge of obstinacy when he felt he was right , and he usually was !
Paul died on 22 March 2020 having been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in late 2019 .
( Patrick Briggs 51-59 and Brian Madderson 53-63 )
George Robert Dixon ( 45-51 ) was born with his twin brother Harry ( 45-51 ) at Old Hall Farm , Sunk Island , Patrington in Hull where his father had the tenancy of the farm from the Crown Estate . George was born to farm ; it was his passion for all of his life .
George first went to Sunk Island School then later as a boarder to Pocklington . He always said that he was very behind academically when he went to Pocklington , as all he had learnt at primary school was gardening and how to look after a pig ! However , he thoroughly enjoyed his years at Pocklington , leaving just before his sixteenth birthday .
He went back to Old Hall and started working on the farm with his father . When he was 20 years old he won a scholarship through Young Farmers and went to college in America for six months ; an experience he talked about often throughout his life . He loved to travel and did so extensively , visiting many countries around the world .
After a time back at Old Hall working on the farm , his grandfather passed away and George took over his tenancy at Lane End Farm , Coniston . Here he took over a milking herd , which he disliked intensely . One day he told his father , “ Dad , it ’ s me or the cows !” The cows went and George farmed the arable and had chickens and pigs .
In the midst of him moving into the farmhouse at Coniston , his mother sadly passed away at just 49 years old .
George married and adopted Anna and Paul .
His father passed away in 1976 and George took over the tenancy of Old Hall , moving into the farmhouse with his family . Here he had over 500 acres of arable land and fattened thousands of pigs over his time there . He was a meticulous farmer and won several awards for the best kept farm .
George married Barbara in 1990 . Barbara had three adult children when they married ; subsequently three grandchildren came along . George was a good grandpa and spent lots of time with the grandchildren as they got older .
In 2000 , George was offered retirement by the Crown and tenancy of Benningholme Hall , Skirlaugh . In classic George style , Benningholme was soon immaculate . He spent hours outside , tidying up , picking up fallen wood off the trees and clearing the parkland of thistles and nettles .
George and Barbara finally left Benningholme and farming in 2011 , buying a property in Patrington .
George had a great interest in cricket and rugby going to many matches all over the country during his life . After moving to Patrington he was happy on a Saturday when he could go on his scooter to the village cricket ground .
George had five difficult years before his death , first starting with mobility problems and then dementia , sadly spending the last two years in a care home .
( Barbara Dixon )
Christopher Fletcher ( 64-69 ) joined Pocklington in the fifth form but immediately threw himself into school life and in particular the rugby teams and debating society . A boarder at Wilberforce he had an encyclopaedic knowledge of British politics and in particular of the labour movement , unusual for a public schoolboy at that time . But bizarrely it was an accidental meeting up in Doncaster on an exeat and a mutual interest in egg , chips and beans in Wimpy bars , that led to our closer friendship .
On leaving school , Chris and I embarked on an extraordinary hitchhiking and camping trip through Yugoslavia as it was then , involving many idle moments on baking hot roads waiting for vehicles that never came and sitting at beachside campsites cooking our meagre rations of mashed potato and soup while Chris extolled the virtues of socialist republics and the local plum brandy before the inevitable singing of all the Animal tracks we could recall . The highlight of the trip involved an unfortunate misunderstanding in a restaurant which led to us hiding in the goods yard of Trieste station for some while .
We continued our friendship at Sheffield University where he studied Economic History and introduced me to the delights of Tetley bitter . After university our parts diverted , and although it was to be sometime later before I joined the Labour Party I have no doubt that Chris was instrumental in that decision . It was with great sadness that when trying to contact him for an OP reunion I learnt of his recent illness and death . Our thoughts go to his wife Sarah and his son Bentley .
( Fraser Whitehead 62-69 )