Obituary - George Blamire

31st July 2009 at 01:00

George Blamire, who has died at the age of 93, was a teacher whose wide interests and experience enabled him to exert an influence far beyond his subject of art.

The son of a Cumbrian-born headmaster and an Edinburgh mother, George was born in the Warrender Park area of Edinburgh.

School was followed by Edinburgh School of Art and Moray House, where he was top student in his year. A gifted sculptor at art school, he continued to paint in watercolour for many years and leaves many fine paintings, particularly of the Lake District and the East Neuk of Fife.

George was called to service on the outbreak of the Second World War, was commissioned into the Royal Artillery and spent the next five years in the Middle East and Italy.

Even during the turbulence of war service, his love of sport prevailed and he was much in demand for army teams where he took the field with distinguished sportsmen from other disciplines, including the rugby league international Roy Kinnear and Matt Busby, later manager of Manchester United.

He married Betty Dobson in 1940, a marriage that was to last for 63 years until Betty's death in 2003. It produced three sons and, as Betty used to say, a clothes line perpetually hung with a wide array of sportswear.

In 1946, George accepted a teaching post in the art department of George Heriot's School where, characteristically, he threw himself into extra- curricular activities. He coached the 1st XV and became master in charge of golf.

George and his brother Roger, also on the staff, were mainstays of the school dramatic society, George producing many imaginative sets while Roger directed the plays. George became quite famous for his unique method of waking dozing pupils by lobbing the wooden-backed chalk duster so that it landed with an almighty clatter right beside them - not very PC in today's terms, but effective.

In 1955, he became head of art at Ross High in Tranent and, three years later, took up the same post at Daniel Stewart's College in Edinburgh, where he remained until his retirement in 1979.

Again, he was involved in many aspects of the school, with rugby and golf to the fore. His pipe, walking stick and deer-stalker hat were as familiar on the games fields as ever.

Over his long teaching career, he enriched many lives through his influence. He was as pleased for those who simply went on to get a bit more out of life because of his encouragement and teaching, as he was for those who went on to become much more notable.

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