Larger than life finishing firm founder remembered

Printweek team
Friday, February 3, 2023

UK Book Binders chairman Alistair George is set to pass the firm he founded on his final journey after he passed away following a long illness.

Alistair George died on 20 January aged 79, photo from 2008
Alistair George died on 20 January aged 79, photo from 2008

George spent his entire 50-plus-year career in the print finishing industry, first joining Arrowsmiths in Bristol as an apprentice before moving to WH Wares in Clevedon, where he progressed through the ranks to become works manager.

It was in 1979 that he started his first business, founding West Country Binders where, according to UK Book Binders general manager Lee Gray, he developed an enviable reputation for quality work amongst the businesses he supplied up and down the UK.

After the closure of West Country Binders in 2011 he went on to co-found UK Book Binders later the same year, although by 2016 he had largely stepped away from day-to-day operations.

However Gray said his presence and influence continued to impact the business.

“Alistair was a larger than life character. His knowledge was second to none and his passion for this company was incredible, it was his life’s work”.

Although George had suffered with ill-health for the past six or seven years he continued to offer his support to the management team.

“His enthusiasm never waned and I would always seek his counsel on developments I wanted to make to the business,” said Gray.

“He loved to come in and see new machine installations or help the team on the shop floor achieve the quality of finish we required. I’ll miss him greatly.”

George is survived by his wife Della and six children, one of whom, Adam, is part of the management team at UKBB and will continue his father’s legacy.

His funeral will be held on Monday 20 February at 12.30pm at Weston Super Mare Crematorium & Cemetery in Worle, Somerset.

According to Gray, while the business will be closed on the day, his funeral cortege will pass the factory.

Industry friends and former colleagues are welcome to attend the service, but Gray asked that anyone wishing to pay their respects message him, just to help in planning, at

He added that he was also happy to pass on any condolences or memories to the family.

The service will be family flowers only, but donations under George’s name to the RNLI are welcome via The Elms Funeral Directors tribute page on

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