Tributes have been paid to Nunney resident George Williams, 93, who died recently.
George John Berry Williams died peacefully on 23 June 2018, aged 93. He was married to Diana, father of Justin, Victoria and Adam, with ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
George was offered a place at Cambridge University before the war broke out. He was a talented clarinet player, who spent much time in the underground jazz clubs in New Orleans.
George served in WW2 in the RAF with Coastal and Bomber Command. At 21 he became squadron leader in the RAF.
At 29 he became the youngest director at Castol Oil. As Castrol’s Competition REP he was responsible for the firm’s heavy involvement in motor racing, speed boat racing and Formula One from 1948 until 1959.
Castrol provided lubricant oils to many famous racing teams. In his time George witnessed some of the most important moments in motor racing history and was present at many of the world speed record attempts.
Video footage of George from 1953 is available online in the BP Video Library.
The magazine MotorSport of April 1953 featured profiles of several Competition REPs, including George Williams:
George Williams, Competitions Manager of C. C. Wakefield & Co., Ltd. (Castrol), who is 29, joined the R.A.F direct from school and flew with Coastal Command. During his six years’ service, he completed nearly 2,000 hours flying, mainly in Wellington and Warwick aircraft.
After leaving the R.A.F., he studied for a time at Birmingham University and joined Wakefields in 1948 as a member of the sales staff. After a few weeks, he became an assistant to the then Competitions Manager. E. J. Anderson (“Castrol Andy”). When Anderson retired, a year later, Williams succeeded him.
As Wakefields is a British Company, competition policy is controlled from London and Williams makes many overseas trips liaising with his staff abroad. Keenly interested in international economic problems and production methods, he finds his visits to foreign motor and motor-cycle manufacturers most instructive and he is very appreciative of his many friendships abroad.
Apart from his professional associations, George Williams has always had the greatest interest in competition motoring and has, himself, competed many times in club events and international rallies. He has also acted as pit manager in several record-breaking attempts, notably that of the Austin A40 10,000 miles in 10,000 minutes at Montlhéry in 1950. More recently, as a result of working, closely with Donald Campbell and the late John Cobb, he has acquired a keen interest in high-speed development on water.
George Williams has also been responsible, in association with Richard Habershon, for the production of Castrol films on motor sport and himself spoke the commentary for two of these. His hobbies are golf and motoring and his own car is a Jowett Javelin.
Following George and Diana’s move to Nunney, George served on Nunney Parish Council and became involved in fundraising for the construction of Nunney Village Hall.
George was most happy when he had his family and friends around the table for a big boozy lunch.
Photos reproduced by kind permission of the Williams family.