Published: 11:40, 19 November 2020
| Updated: 13:09, 19 November 2020
Sheppey's friend to the stars is to take his final bow.
Entertainer George Dickson, known as Georgie Dee to a generation of Islanders and dubbed 'Mr Showbiz', will be given a send off at the Garden of England crematorium, Bobbing, next Tuesday at 2pm.
While running the Island Nightclub at Leysdown he introduced a host of top names to Sheppey including singers Bill Haley, Georgie Fame, Alan Price, PJ Proby, Frankie Vaughn, Bobby Vee, Joe Brown and Eurovision winner Dana.
He shared the stage with bands like The Drifters, Gerry and The Pacemakers and Freddie and The Dreamers and booked comics such as Mike Reid (later to join the cast of EastEnders as Frank Butcher), Mike and Bernie Winters and Freddie 'Parrot Face' Davies.
George was born in Peckham, south London, with showbusiness in his blood. His mum Kate was an entertainer as was his brother Bill. Both boys inherited a fine singing voice.
As a teenager, George became a speedway rider for the New Cross team and even starred as a stuntman for Dirk Bogarde in the film Once A Jolly Swagman.
He was then conscripted into the Army where he became a dispatch rider.
On being demobbed he turned to lorry driving and by the time he moved his family to Sheppey he was driving coaches.
He went on to work for Ready Mix Concrete where he became transport and production manager for the south east. But his true love was singing in the clubs where he became known as Georgie Dee.
In 1973 he quit his 'proper' job to manage the Island Hotel nightclub and then moved to the Warden Bay Hotel where he hosted the Kent Evening Post talent contest during the summers, long before Simon Cowell came up with the idea of The X Factor.
Later he set up his own entertainments agency above a plumbers in Sheerness booking acts all over Europe.
Eventually he returned to the transport business and ended up working alongside his son Michael at Sheerness Docks with Cool Chain.
After he retired he and his wife Sheila bought a holiday home in Provence, France, and enjoyed spending summers there for 12 years.
He celebrated his 90th birthday in July with his family but then declined rapidly and moved into Park View Care Home, Ashford, where he died on November 4.
His daughter Lesley Bristow said: “Mum and I spent time with him on his last day, listening to his favourite music including his own record which he recorded many years ago. We were so pleased we had the chance to play it to him. His passion was singing and entertaining and the nursing home reported that he would sing to them all day long.”
George leaves a widow Sheila, three children Michael, Janet and Lesley, seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.