George Loader (1839-1908), cordwainer and public servant of Berkhamsted

George Loader was a worthy representative of local trades people who in the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth devoted their lives to public service in the community.

JP, staunch Conservative, member of the Primrose League and active member of the congregation of St Peter’s church, he gave an address of welcome to Horace Smith-Dorrien who was speaking about the Boer War to a large gathering in the Town Hall (Bucks Herald, Jun 1901).

George Loader

George Loader

In a report of his death from a severe attack of pneumonia, we learn of his various achievements: “Mr Loader was only re-elected Chairman of the Urban Council at the annual meeting last week having been Chairman for eight successive years and he had during that time taken a very active part in developing and improving the town. He was one of the representative Governors of Berkhamsted School appointed by the Urban Council and took an active part in the controversy over the new scheme for that school [regarding charges for day boys, the subject of Samuel Rowland Timson’s personal vendetta against headmaster Dr Fry, in which Loader most likely played a mediating role]. He was also Chairman of the local managers of the County Council Schools. This was in succession to the late J East, and the senior trustee of Bourne’s foundation. At the Bourne Dinner last December he remarked that that was the 59th year he had been present. Although he leaves no family his death will be mourned by his widow and other relatives, as well as by a large circle of friends who have by practical experience learned to appreciate his many good qualities.” (Bucks Herald, Apr 1908).

A memorial to George Loader is incorporated into the wall of the former Victoria Girls’ School: “In memory of George Loader, J P, for many years Governor of Bourne School, to whom is largely due the erection of these schools (the Victoria Schools).”

Jenny Sherwood, Chronicle v.XI, pp.3-9.