GEORGE was born in the War Memorial Hospital Peebles on the 10th of January 1938, the first child of Murray and Jenny Thorburn.

He was educated at Kingsland and the High School and was chosen to be Sword Bearer in the Beltane Court of 1950.

George eventually left school in 1953 to start an apprenticeship in the old established Painting and Decorating business of David Mitchell, which at that time was run by his father.

When his father retired in 1977 George took over the running of the family business in partnership with his younger brother Ian, and did so successfully until his retirement in 2003.

George was a very astute businessman and the company thrived during his 25 years in charge.

George was a keen sportsman and met his wife Sally in 1956 while playing five a side football in West Linton, and it was love at first sight.

During their courtship it was not unusual for George to cycle the 14 miles from Peebles to West Linton to see Sally if transport was not available.

George and Sally were eventually married in West Linton in October 1961 and they were overjoyed when their daughter Morag was born in 1965.

Before getting married, George did his National Service in the RAF and spent a year stationed at RAF Kinloss on the Moray Firth.

It was during that time that he developed a lasting love for the area and after one or two family holidays on the Moray coast, George and Sally bought a static caravan on a site just outside Elgin, and many happy holidays were spent there over the years.

Other holidays would also follow from connections made in Moray.

George and Sally both became very enthusiastic Scottish country dancers. For several years during the winter months, most weekends were spent travelling around this area attending dances and making many friends.

It was at one of these dance groups that a friend asked if they would be interested in joining other members of the group on a short country dancing holiday at a hotel in Benidorm.

Not having been one for foreign holidays, George swithered but eventually agreed to go. Little did he think that they would return there over and over again, enjoying his retirement in the sun and forming a close relationship with the management and staff of the Corona Del Mar hotel in Benidorm.

He loved sport, and especially football. As a youngster George played for Tweeddale Rovers and Leithen Rovers.

He was also a keen golfer, joining Peebles Golf Club as a junior member in 1948. He served on the Golf Club committee for several years and was captain in 1968 and Secretary during the 1970s and continued to hold a non-playing membership.

Football was his great passion and though his playing career was cut short, he went on to serve on Peebles Rovers committee.

His faithful support of the club was recognised by his appointment as Honorary President, a position he still held.

He was a fanatical Celtic supporter but if you asked him what club meant most to him it would be the Rovers.

He loved to talk about the great Rovers teams of the 1950s and travelling to matches in the company of his friend Bill Neilson.

Though he was passionate about football, his favourite sport was actually cricket, and Test Match cricket in particular. To George there was nothing better than sitting in front of the TV engrossed in an Ashes Series for days on end.

The town of Peebles meant so much to him and George was involved in so many aspects of the social life of the town.

He was a life member of Peebles Callants Club and was Chief Callant from 1985 to 1988.

He was also a member of the Guildry Corporation serving as Dean from 2008 to 2011.

In his early teens, George joined Peebles Silver Band and went on to have many happy years playing in the band and he took on the position of Bandmaster during the late 1960s.

He eventually had to retire from the band due to his commitments in the family business but recalled one Beltane Friday evening during the 1970s, when there was a knock at the door and there stood a member of the band, asking if George would step in as bandmaster for the night as the current incumbent had walked out.

George being George, he agreed to help out, also did Beltane Saturday, and ended up holding the position for several more years!

He joined the Masons in 1980 and was a Past Master of Peebles Lodge Kilwinning.

He was raised in a church going family and like so many boys of his generation joined the Boys Brigade.

The 1st Peebles Company which was attached to St Andrews Church in the old town, was strong at that time and they even started their own bugle band, helped by the fact that a quite a few of the boys were members of the Silver Band like George.

He liked to recall the happy times when the BBs held summer camps at Spittal and Dunbar.

He always felt a lasting attachment to the Boys Brigade and also the now demolished St Andrews Church. After the closure of St Andrews, the family moved to the Peebles Old Parish Church where George was still a regular attender and Elder.

George was never afraid to speak his mind and was never slow to voice his opinion.

He had strong political views and though he was a proud Scot he was also a staunch Unionist.

In later years he enjoyed meeting up with his friends Franco and Bob to put the world to right over a coffee, whether it was arguing about politics or more usually, the football.

Unfortunately, George’s health started to deteriorate a few months ago and at the end of January he was sadly diagnosed with terminal cancer.

His stoicism, his love for Sally and his sense of humour shone through despite difficult moments right until the end.

George was a loving father, grandfather, uncle, great uncle and during their long marriage, a very loving and caring husband to Sally.

There is no doubt that George has left an indelible mark on community life here in Peebles and it was no surprise to see so many attend his funeral service last Monday.

We will all miss his presence.