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Thomas ’Tom’ Charles Towers 1941 - 2021

A Tribute from Our Group
- by Barbara & Harry Greenmon  

   Our President Eremitus, Tom Towers, passed away at his home in Eston on 29th January, 2021 aged 79.   Tom had been suffering with Parkinson’s Disease for a number of years but his death from a heart attack was sudden and unexpected.   Tom was a founder member of the History Group when it was formed in 2002.   He was immediately confirmed as Chairman, a position he held until September 2014, when he decided to stand down due to his illness.   In light of all he had done for the Group he was made President for Life.

   Tom was a Chairman who got things done.   Not one to leave it to others if Tom had an idea, he would see it through.   He was also exceptional at delegating.   He had such a nice manner when he asked, it was virtually impossible to refuse.   He brought ambitious ideas to the group and was prepared to do whatever was necessary to realise them.   Perfect examples of this being the two Spitfire and one Dakota flypasts at our annual exhibitions.   For a small village like Normanby that was an incredible achievement and will never be forgotten or equalled.
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   Tom also arranged for the Trolleybus and old United bus (Dorothy) to be present at other exhibitions.   The work he did behind the scenes was incredible.   On Friday nights before the exhibition took place, those with exhibits would arrive with their displays, not knowing that Tom had been at the Chapel all day setting up the tables and display boards etc.    After the exhibitions on the Saturday, Tom was always last to leave with everything packed away and the Chapel left as if nothing had taken place.

Click On This for Larger Image (Opens in New Window) Click On This for Larger Image (Opens in New Window)    Tom also organised, with the help of his "volunteers", the Group’s annual Remembrance Day services, which were always well attended.
   Even in 2020 with all the Covid restrictions, Tom was determined to hold a service even though it had to be a somewhat low-key event.
   That was Tom in a nutshell. He was as determined as ever to make sure it took place.

   Tom was always the first to greet new members to the Group and was there to help them on any aspects of the history of Normanby.

Click On This for Larger Image (Opens in New Window) Click On This for Larger Image (Opens in New Window)    Tom was always keen to put wrongs to right.   If he thought something was wrong, he would research it and try to correct it.
   These would include the missing name on the Normanby War Memorial.   Sgt. Maurice Mallinson’s name is now on the Memorial and he has a housing estate in Normanby named after him.   All down to the work of Tom.

   Another example is when he went to Australia to research the 23-year-old mystery Australian fighter pilot who died in December 1941 after his Spitfire crashed in thick fog on Eston Hills.
   Tom also found the families of several servicemen and was able to reunite them with medals their ancestors had won.

It makes you realise how indebted we were to Tom for all he did for the Group.
He will be sadly missed and really, he is irreplaceable and will never be forgotten.
Rest in peace Tom, a true gentleman.

Funeral Service at Normanby Methodist Church
      at 1:15 on Wednesday 24th February 2021

   The service was taken by Reverend Christopher J Wood-Archer attended by Tom’s family and a few invited guests.
   So many more would have wanted to join the service but regrettably the coronavirus lock-down restrictions limited the numbers of those who could attend inside the church.
   Nevertheless many friends and group members attended outside the church (suitably socially distanced) to pay their respects.
   Tom’s family were happy to allow his funeral service to be streamed live via Zoom. This virtual "Meeting" enabled some 20 people to attend the service "virtually".
   The minister has kindly provided a recording of the service which is available on our video  page.

Order of Service Sheet

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Personal Memories & Tributes

You can provide your own personal memories of Tom to be displayed below
by sending them via our Contact  page
(with Subject as Memories of Tom Towers ).

These contibutions will be added with only minor editing.

Saturday 30 January 2021 from Sylvia Fairbrass (History Group Vice Chairman)
   Very sad news indeed.
   I have known Tom since I joined Normanby Youth Club when I was 13.   He was always motivated by helping people.   He and Judith ran a youth club at South Bank and both joined the Police Specials.
   He was always on hand at Normanby Methodist Church and took on the responsibility of church maintenance and the many associated jobs.
Click On This for Larger Image (Opens in New Window)    He won one of the fundraising quizzes I produced.   These led to a meeting of seven of us at my house to see if we could set up a Normanby History Group.
   Tom offered to be our Chairman and never stopped working for the group.   He was devastated when Parkinsons led to him stepping down.
   He handed on a strong flourishing History Group to our present Chairman John.   The group made him President for life, but I will always think of him as the Chairman who got things done.   Three RAF fly-pasts, trackless and United bus visits to name a few.
   Rest in peace Tom - you have earned it.

Saturday 30 January 2021 from Alan Middleton (Group Member)
   So sad to hear of the passing of Tom.
   When I first joined the History Group, Tom gave me a personal walking tour of Normanby to introduce me to its history as he was keen to share his knowledge.
   Although living here since 1993, a lot of the local places on my dog walks had passed me by and it was only when retired and able to attend the Group meetings did I discover what I had been missing!

Wednesday 3 February 2021 from Sue Longstaff (Group Secretary)
   This week has been a sad one
   We have lost two inspirational Gentlemen - both called Tom:
      Tom Towers (one of the History Group’s founding members) and Captain Sir Tom Moore.
   There were many similarities between them:
      Proud. Kind. Dignified. Humble. Inspirational. Determined to get things done. Proud to wear their medals. Spitfire flypast.
   Both will be very, very sadly missed by many.

Thursday 4 February 2021 from Amanda Proud (Group Member)
   It’s not fair.   Too many lovely souls are leaving us.
   I know Tom had slowly been getting worse but I am absolutely gutted that he has gone.
   He was funny.   He helped me when I joined the History Group.   He was an old-fashioned gentleman!
   This world is a far blander place without Tom.
   R.I.P. Mr Towers & thank you.

Tuesday 9 February 2021 from Celia Shires
   Tom Towers was a member of Normanby Methodist Youth Club back in the good old days!   He was part of ’our gang’ - Colin Brown, John Prest, Sylvia Jackson, Joan Little, Audrey Hall, Christine Hickman, and myself.
   He made a lovely cross for the Youth Club which is still treasured by those of us who remember those times which is still held in the church.   He and his beloved wife, Judith, took over the reins of the Youth Club as leaders back in the late 1960s living just a few doors up from the premises.   They took the then Youth Club on holiday to the Youth Hostel in Guernsey.
   Their children Kirsty and Damian were part of the Sunday school and the Playgroup.   Both he and Judith became Special Constables in the Police Force, Tom eventually making it his career.
Normanby Methodist Church 2012    After Judith died of cancer, Tom turned to and devoted his time to the Methodist Church at Normanby as Property Steward and was on duty sometimes 24/7 when alarms went off , or the pavement needed clearing of snow before services or meetings - despite being affected by Parkinson’s disease, and having heart trouble.   Being an ex-officer of the Police force he was very keen on security, and was always there doing odd jobs where needed.
   An important part of the History Group which met at Normanby Methodist, he organised celebrations every year, and we all fondly remember the Spiftire/Hurricane fly-pasts and the old Trolley bus being parked outside the church.   People came from far and wide to remember the history of Normanby during the war and after.
   He was a driving force around Remembrance Sunday, always making sure that those brave people were honoured and remembered by a display in the church, and he organised the service at Normanby cenotaph, involving the children of the local school and inviting all back to the church for coffee and biscuits.
   He had to give up his stewarding as his health deteriorated but nonetheless was always a presence there in the Church building.
   I remember him coming across as a bit gruff - but he was a kindly soul and had a great sense of humour.
   He will be greatly missed within the community.
   Thank you Tom - you have been a blessing to us.

Thursday 11 February 2021 from Sheila Nicholson (Group Public Relations Officer)
   I remember my first History Group meeting where I knew no-one.
   Tom made me so welcome and I soon felt at home as part of the group -
      - though we did have some tussles with the Church’s PR system especially when the projectors and screens misbehaved!

Thursday 25 February 2021 from Derek Hardwick
Tribute from Derek Hardwick

   Updates to this article will be added as they are provided.

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