George Gater obituary | Economics


George Gater, my spouse, who has died aged 88 of cardiogenic shock, was an industrial economist, and an novice art historian. Coming from a privileged qualifications he but had a decided independence of intellect and an egalitarian outlook.

The son of Sir George Gater, a civil servant, and Irene (nee Nichols), who ran the Nationwide Gallery canteen for Myra Hess’s wartime live shows, he was named Anthony George Richard, and recognized as Anthony by his household but as George by his pals from boyhood on. Born in London, he was educated at Winchester higher education and then studied philosophy, politics and economics at New Faculty, Oxford, subsequent nationwide service.

At the Nationwide Financial Advancement Office (Nedo), from 1969 to 1986, George headed the team performing for the textiles and garment industries, which had been experiencing relentless levels of competition from abroad. Nedo was established up in 1962 by the Conservative govt to seem at the economy as a result of the eyes of industry. Organised as a network of tripartite committees (management, unions and authorities), it went outside of its original quasi-preparing remit to do innovative get the job done.

George’s group of committees spanned the total marketplace from spinners and dyers, textile companies, garment and footwear makers, to merchants. Maker/person collaborations occurred in his perform and in other Nedo sectors right before “supply chain” became frequent parlance. He enthusiastically promoted Greater Built in Britain, a 1980s campaign to match purchasers to British suppliers.

Nedo for George was not a thinktank, it was an agent for persuasion. Nedo’s one of a kind framework and community enabled queries these kinds of as why some companies prospered and some others did not to be examined in depth, and most effective follow demonstrated.

He tackled almost everything with persistence, a zeal for substantial benchmarks and no inhibitions. He appreciated badgering those people senior to him. Defining and measuring Nedo’s own success was a regular preoccupation – he despatched the director standard a postcard from holiday break to remind him he needed to tackle it. Quite lately he was pursuing erstwhile colleagues, garnering them to lobby present-day coverage makers on industrial method and point them to Nedo’s operate.

An artwork lover all his lifestyle he took to acquiring photos that defied identification. He haunted the V&A and the Witt Library and took his finds to museums and lecturers, normally receiving a listening to. The assortment of paintings, some wonderful, some odd, all intriguing, gave us a enormous quantity of pleasure. A single photo in distinct is the subject matter of a web page he developed in 2016, Outdated Master Detective.

He was a founding trustee of Fantastic Mobile Operate, the charity that teaches needlework to prisoners to assist their rehabilitation. Obtaining it off the floor versus resistance from several quarters took heroic hard work. George contributed eyesight and dogged dedication, and the organisation prospers these days. Again in 1966 he experienced in the same way provided his all when Fritz Schumacher took him on at Intermediate Engineering Improvement Team to create its very first publication, Resources for Progress. ITDG is also alive and perfectly as Sensible Action.

George and I 1st satisfied at Nedo and married in 1985. He was a fond father who beloved game titles, stories, songs and dancing, and inspired our two little ones, Rosalind and Francis, to uncover their individual paths. George is survived by them, his four grandchildren, Alfred, Rory, Ottoline and Florence, and me.