Tom, who originally joined the Duchy as an apprentice carpenter and cabinet-maker in 1977 has become one of the best known members of the team over the course of his career. In addition to his expert carpentry skills, he is top of everyone’s speed dial list, serving as an emergency plumber, woodsman, gardener, painter and decorator and even travel companion to numerous tenants across the Lancashire estates.
Married for 40 years, Tom lives on the Whitewell estate in the village of Dunsop Bridge, where his wife Janet is a local primary school teacher. Tom and Janet have four grown-up sons and are joint Presidents of the Hodder Valley Show this year, an event in which they have been actively involved since they moved to Dunsop in 1977. Tom was awarded the Royal Victorian Medal, an honour in the personal gift of the Royal Family, in 2002.
Presenting Tom with an engraved decanter to mark the occasion, Duchy Head of Rural Christopher Sparrow, said: “We are so grateful to Tom for his years of loyal and dedicated service to the Duchy. His can-do attitude and sunny disposition have made him a real asset to the business and to our tenants across Lancashire who know that they can call on him at any time. He is genuinely one in a million and we hope that he will continue to work with us for many years to come!”