Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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George Edward McWatters

 
 
 

He was born on 17th March 1922 in India, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel George Alfred McWatters, who was of Northern Irish descent and had seen active service with the 81st Pioneers on the North-West Frontier in 1897-98 and subsequently commanded the 10th Battalion, 1st Madras Pioneers. George's mother was a Harvey. He was educate at Clifton College from 1930 to 1940.

In 1940 he enlisted in the ranks of the Royal Scots, and the following year was commissioned into the 14th Punjab Regiment in the Indian Army.

In the meantime he had formally joined the family firm in 1940, and when he returned from the war he resumed his studies in wine-making and the wine trade. In 1951 he was appointed a director of Harveys, and five years later became chairman.

In 1946 he married, Margery Robertson, who died in 1959.

Above the Clifton squad that toured Cornwall in September 1950 with captain George McWatters.

Above George McWatters.

He was a member of the Society of Merchant Venturers and sat as a city councillor from 1950 to 1953. In the general election of 1955 he stood unsuccessfully for the Conservatives in Bristol South.

He met his second wife, Joy Matthews, the Fleet Street columnist and hostess, when she was on a press trip to visit Harveys' interests in France and Spain. Joy, with whom George McWatters had a son, died in January 2006

Invitations to Burrington House, their country home, were much sought after. Guests at one spectacular ball at their house in Hamilton Terrace, Maida Vale, sat down to find menus printed on white satin.

After losing control of Harveys, he tried to revive his political career, issuing a press release that declared his waist and chest measurements, height and weight; it also revealed that, when in London, he would swim six lengths at the Swiss Cottage baths before breakfast.

It was during the 1960s that he established a television company, which by the 1980s had become Harlech Television (later called HTV)

McWatters was a governor of Clifton College for almost half a century and served on the boards of many local organisations, including the Avon Wildlife Trust. He was a magistrate and, in 1979, High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire.

He died on the 19th December 2007, aged 85.