A FORMER deputy town clerk who guided York from post-war austerity to prosperity – and organised key Royal visits and elections – has died, aged 95.
George Hepworth, of Bishopthorpe, moved from Huddersfield to York in 1947 to take up a post as an assistant solicitor at the old city council’s town clerk’s department.
He also married his wife of the next 65 years, Margaret, with whom he had two children, Mark and Hilary.
Mark said: “In his capacity as city solicitor and deputy town clerk, he was responsible for guiding York from the auesterity of the 1940s into the comparative prosperity of the 1970s.”
He said his father had been deputy returning officer at a number of General Elections, and helped organise royal visits including a major visit by the Queen in 1971 when the city was celebrating the 1900th anniversary of the founding of the Roman city of Eboracum.
His father was on the boards of management at various organisations, including the York Theatre Royal, the York School for the Blind, Castle Howard Approved School and the Wandsford Trust.
He was a member of York 65 Round Table and then the 41 Club, which earlier this year made him a life member in recognition of 50 years unbroken membership, and was an active member of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, the Georgian Society, the Civic Trust, Probus and the Merchant Adventurers.
“All these took his time and energies and I am sure they benefited from his meticulous attention to details that ensured that nothing was ever left to chance,” said Mark.
Mr Hepworth and his wife were also founder members of the York Centre of the National Trust, and he was church warden at Clifton Parish Church and later at Askham Bryan Parish Church.
Mark said his father’s professional standards had been impeccable. “Traditionally, integrity and probity have been the watchwords of those involved in legal practice and Dad considered these qualities to be non-negotiable.”