Obituary: hotelier Geoffrey Dawson Stamper dies
Former hotelier Geoffrey Dawson Stamper has died aged 72.
Stamper was a lifelong hotelier, having gained a national diploma in hotelkeeping and catering in 1962 before taking on a number of high profile roles in the 1970s and 1980s.
He was appointed assistant manager in the newly opened Hotel Piccadilly, Manchester, in 1965, and married Judith Hephrun that same year.
Stamper's career then took him to London, where he was made manager of Grosvenor House hotel in 1970, before taking on the then Trust Houses Forte Waldorf hotel as general manager in 1975.
At the Waldorf, Stamper headed the refurbishment and reorganisation of the hotel, developing the international conference and large incentive groups market and in the process delivering £1m profit in 1977.
In 1982 Stamper took his family to South Africa, where he became regional director at Southern Sun hotels, returning in 1988 when his sons were in danger of being conscripted. Present during a dramatic period in South Africa's history, Stamper ran hospitality at major events including the South Africa Grand Prix, and managed labour disputes as the lead on the company's union negotiating team.
Back in the UK, Stamper joined Thistle hotels as operations director, responsible for 13 provincial hotels and six London properties.
Lucknam Park chairman Harry Murray said: "I first met Geoffrey in 1965 when he was at the newly opened Piccadilly Hotel in Manchester and I was Deputy GM at The Grand Hotel. Although we were in competition he was always helpful and kind and it was clear at that early stage of his career he had all the skills to develop into a leading hotelier.
"I kept in contact with him during his periods at The Waldorf and Grosvenor House but lost contact when he went to South Africa in the 80's, ironically to join Southern Sun Hotels the company I left a few years earlier.
"Geoffrey was a good experienced traditional hotelier who was passionate about the hospitality industry and cared deeply about his staff."
His wife Judith told The Caterer
"His favourite programme was Fawlty Towers, with The Dead Body episode having strong echoes of an incident at the Waldorf over a bank holiday when the coroner was unavailable, and yet the room booked out the next day. As the ambulance couldn't take the poor lady away she landed in Geoff's office covered in a sheet!"
Stamper is survived by his wife Judith, sons Mark and Jason and three grandchildren.