Well-known car and motorbike enthusiast George Geeson has died, at the grand old age of 105.
The father-of-two died in his sleep at home in his bungalow, in Water Lane, South Witham.
Mr Geeson will be familiar to readers as we’ve featured the centenarian on a number of occasions, from celebrating his 70th anniversary with wife Viola in 2007, to declaring that the secret to a long life is a scone every night for tea.
His son, Robert Geeson, said his father had been feeling unwell for three weeks before he passed away. He added: “For the last three weeks we’ve had 24-hour care in for him, but apart from that he managed pretty well on his own.”
Mr Geeson has always lived in the South and North Witham area, retaining his independence in later years by staying in his bungalow in Water Lane, South Witham, next door to Robert.
The pair were very close, sharing a love of vintage and classic cars and motorbikes.
Robert, 69, said: “When I had my first bicycle, most people would have bought a new bike, but we went to the market and bought a second-hand one, and [my father] showed me how to refurbish it.
“A love of cars and bikes is something we’ve shared.
“I will always remember him in the workshop. He was always fixing something. Right up until a couple of years ago he was still using machinery in the workshop.”
Mr Geeson restored more than 80 motorbikes in his lifetime, and loved old cars. “He never had a modern car,” said Robert.
He spent most of his working life as one half of Geeson Brothers, a garage on the A1 he ran with his younger brother, Leonard.
After 33 years they sold the business and opened the Geeson Brothers Motorcycle Museum in South Witham, where they restored and displayed vintage motorcycles, and kept it open for 22 years.
One of the best experiences of Mr Geeson’s life was in 2010 when aged 99 he had the chance to drive a Model T Ford. He got his driving licence in 1925 and was 15 when he first drove the iconic car. He was over the moon to have the chance to relive his youth, telling this newspaper at the time: “This is one of the two fantastic experiences of my life. One of those was marrying my sweetheart Viola and the other is being able to drive a Model T Ford.”
He and Viola married in 1937 after meeting at a dance in Wymondham, and they both loved to dance.
Another interest of Mr Geeson’s was collecting cigarette cards, a hobby he began as a child – and he was still adding to his collection only weeks ago.
Mr Geeson leaves Robert, daughter Janet, her daughters Nicole and Emma, and Robert’s step-son James.
The funeral service will take place at the church in North Witham at 11.30am on Wednesday (September 7). Family flowers only, donations received for North Witham church.
The church held a special place in Mr Geeson’s heart as a regular church-goer. As a child, Leonard would ring the bells, while Mr Geeson worked the organ bellows.