George Marshall Fish, OBE 1928-2018 (SH 42-46)

We are sad to share the news that George Marshall Fish, OBE (SH 1942-46), died on 7th November last year, aged 90. Please see below an obituary courtesy of John Harlow (H 47-51).

George Marshall Fish was born in Nottingham and went to the Dolphin School in the city and after it was evacuated to Winkburn Hall. He attended Sedbergh School in 1941, entering School House, where he found great success in both high jump (winning in the Junior High Jump in 1943) and cricket, where he was a member of the 2nd XI in 1945 and the 1st XI in his final year in 1946.

He loved the fells and became very skilled in water colours and pen and ink drawing. He did his National Service with the Royal Artillery and served in the South Notts Hussars afterwards.


His father had died in Sept 1939 when he was at the Dolphin School but his mother had carried on the business founded in 1840 of Thos Fish & Sons, a very well respected, high quality builders and joinery company. He was extremely well liked by all his workforce. In February 1952 he married his first wife, Jo Lowater.

George had construction and design in his blood and he was always thinking around problems and drawing sketches of a solution. [He built my house in 1968 and his help and advice was vital]. If you ever had a building project in mind George would offer his ideas, which from his perspective were always the right ones. According to his family he could be quite dogmatic and was not easily argued with. William, his eldest son, and Charles, the youngest, joined him in the business, while James the middle son became a Quantity Surveyor with Gleeds.

The business grew and prospered building quality houses, and working for local architects on major buildings. The business was taking on larger projects locally and in the Midlands under his two sons, after he stepped back from control. In 1969 he became a Justice of the Peace for the City of Nottingham and was made the Chairman of the County Magistrates Court Committee in 1984. The city needed a large new Court Complex but the local Councils were not keen to find the money. After two years, a study visit went to the USA to gain ideas for the new court and bridewell. George had his own ideas on design and full-size models were built with help and input from all the agencies to alter the Home Office standard designs and improve the layout for the benefit of both the JP’s but also lawyers, prisoners and the public. He visited well over ten other cities to look at their new courts. He also told the architects how, if they altered their design, it would be easier or cheaper to build. The money he saved was used for superior materials and today they still have years of further life.


The new courts were opened by the Lord Chancellor in 1993. A Royal Visit from HM the Queen followed and his enormous voluntary effort was rewarded with the OBE. He helped with the design and build of new courts at Mansfield and work at other courts in the County. He was Chairman of the Nottingham bench from 1994-96 and made a deputy to the Lord Lieutenant. George lived at the Manor House in Bulcote for 40 years, an avid cricketer with a cricket square in the grounds for the village team. His first wife, Jo, died, and he married an old school friend of hers in 2011, Jean Roberts. He is survived by his three sons and their children and grandchildren.