The Society was founded by Ron George in 1993. Ron died in 2004 in Canada. We include his obituary below.
The death of Mr Ron George in Toronto on Friday, at the age of 80, will sadden his many friends in Cumbria. Though he and his wife, Stella, emigrated in 2000 to spend his last years with his family in Canada, it was clear that the attachment to Lorton Vale, built over the preceding twenty years, was never broken. Born in Lordon, Ron made a career in telecommunications through a variety of world- wide postings for Cable and Wireless. It was while in Brazil that he met and married Stella. He rose to become Engineer-in-Chief of the training department at Porthcurno in Cornwall.
But it was to Cumbria that he and Stella decided to retire in 1980. Though retirement for Ron involved the creation of a bed and breakfast business and running the well-known teashop that was at White Ash Barn in Lorton. Here was a cheerful, friendly place with Stella’s excellent baking and artistry with flowers. A man of energy and enthusiasm, combined with a deep faith, Ron embraced community activity, principally through St Cuthbert’s Church and through local history – though he was involved in almost everything. As Churchwarden for many years, he played a key role in fundraising and repairs, notably in the Lorton Festival of 1996 where his exhibitions, talks and Stella’s floral displays were important in raising the money necessary for the ambitious restoration programme that he championed. For this he wrote a history of St. Cuthbert’s, using his skills as a local historian. This interest developed with his time in Lorton, involving study and qualification through Lancaster University, but stimulated by the village he loved and the history of its community. He was always helping people whose roots were in the area to find their past families and homes.
Always wishing to share his interests with others, in 1993 he conceived and created the Lorton and Derwent Fells Local History Society, being its Chairman and main driving force for the seven successful years that he remained in Lorton. Soon after coming to Lorton, he started researching the history of his house and, later, this expanded to Lorton village and eventually generated a comprehensive history of the valley. After moving to Canada, and despite illness, he still found time to complete his scholarly book on the history of Lorton Vale, ‘A Cumberland Valley’, which he published in 2003. This history will never be bettered, but histories in the future will be bound to include Ron’s present and lasting contribution to Lorton Vale, and to many people who have known him. He leaves Stella, his two daughters and their families.