Beech, George

Printer, wood carver and craftsman. Author of 'A History of Hemsby'

George Beech carried on several trades, making fine furniture and beautiful signs, but it was generally agreed that he would only work when ‘the fancy took him’. He remained a bachelor all his life, but had many friendships, usually based in public houses. It was also his great pleasure to regale holiday makers with his numerous collection of stories, many of which were ‘off colour’, but some of them were actually true. He wrote ‘The Story of Hemsby-on-Sea’ a couple of years before he died, which contained many anecdotes about life in the village, however not all of his history would stand up to modern scholarship.

He liked to think of himself as a man of the eighteenth century and worked with hand tools. He would get his timber direct from the tree without modern aids. Indeed, his house was not connected to mains electricity, water supply or sewers. Hence, George’s standard of personal cleanliness did not make him universally popular. He was, however, always referred to as a ‘Hemsby Character’ and an example of a bygone age.