He was once dubbed the ‘King of Clowns’, who never stopped making his friends laugh.
That cheerfulness helped George Jones make the most of life in post-war Spalding when housing was in short supply and there was little money around.
George shared his memories of life in that era with this reporter shortly before he died, aged 92, last Tuesday.
Delivering the news, his daughter Vicky Hills said: “He lived life to the full and had a fantastic sense of fun.”
That enjoyment of life was evident when George spoke at his home in Nene Court about his years at ‘The Rec’.
Accompanied by his other daughter, Jackie Fowler, he explained that The Rec was an area of the town off Love Lane containing former army huts, known as Nissen huts, that were used for accommodation.
Immediately after the war George joined his mother in Green Lane where she worked as a self-taught midwife in the days before the NHS.
Once George married Nancy they were given a ‘house’ at The Rec – on land that now houses Lime Court.
George recalled that the huts were in a circle and there was a block of communal toilets with a cesspit and a big coal yard.
Jackie has very early memories of living there and says: “There were no facilities but we had the only hut with hot water because dad bought a bath.
“I was there until I was five or six and I just remember these old huts. All the neighbours were friendly.”
George was earning a reasonable salary for the time doing construction work on the roads, and put his skills to good use in the hut.
He said: “I converted it into two bedrooms and they were nice to live in then. All the neighbours were ex-services people and everybody looked after each other.”
He says the men went out to work while the women stayed at home to look after the children. He remembered neighbours included Mr and Mrs Ball, Mrs Hughes, Mr Dent, the Woollseys, a plumber called Mr Giesler and Mr and Mrs Brown.
After a few years, life was improving for people and George and his family moved to Roman Bank in the town.
He said: “Gradually people got money in their pockets, through nothing else but hard work. There was a big difference between the rich and the poor in those days.”