A Tribute to George Ratcliffe
BY JOHN CHATTERTON
George like many Openshaw staff served a full apprenticeship and at the same time studied part-time often after work to gain technical qualifications.
He was a Labour councillor and served as the chairman of Cheshire Education Committee. All this experience was invaluable as later he was very much involved with the introduction of BTEC, dealing with new courses and dealing with government bodies such as those responsible for overseas aid to Egypt and Turkey,through the World Bank and the British council.
He also had skill in dealing with local employers who were not always happy with new educational schemes.
George together with Doug. Turner and Joe Rackstraw started college caravan holidays allowing families to get to know each other and make lasting friends. His bonding of staff was also important in allowing staff in different sections of the college to become friends, college dances and outings then followed.
Another keen interest of George was going to France, and he arranged for some French boys to come to Manchester for a holiday and to stay with members of staff. He also arranged, in conjunction with Leighton Hughes coach trips to Germany and France, again resulting in closer bonding with staff.
The principal Mr. Rowlands saw his organizing skills and gave him the task of arranging education staff conferences. He then became involved in overseas work, first to Egypt and then the major and final task the World Bank Overseas development contract, through the British Council to develop technical colleges in Turkey.
George became Head of Department and loved this challenge of developing this major work within the college and in Turkey. George started the college reunions for present and retired staff which has grown to the excellent organisation we enjoy today. For many of us some of the best years of our life have been since joining Openshaw Tech.and meeting colleagues like George,and became friends for life.
We send our condolences to Nancy and all the family.
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