Poignant toast to Tendring Show stalwart Tom at this year’s event
- Credit: Archant
Glasses will be raised for one of the stalwarts of the Tendring Show when the annual event gets under way on Saturday, July 14.
The show, which attracts up to 20,000 people and takes place at Lawford House Park, near Manningtree, was robbed of one of its much-loved and most committed supporters this year after Tom Glover lost what his family described as “a brave and dignified fight” against bile duct cancer in May, aged 69.
Tom, who was show chairman from 1995 to 1998, was delighted when he was elected show president in 2016, embracing the role with relish.
“I love the Tendring Show and being involved in the organisation of it,” he said at the time. “It’s our role from a farming perspective to showcase what farmers do, but make that link with the non-farming populace. It’s our shop window. We are farming-orientated – we are strong on that – but we do like to have other attractions to bring people into the show. The thing about the Tendring Show is it’s never the same.”
He added “What we are trying to do is to make the show fresh and interesting every year. It’s a very friendly show – I will say that we go out of our way to welcome people.”
Born in Feering in 1948, he was seventh in an unbroken line of Thomas Glovers. Farming was the family business, originally at Feering, before moving to Thorrington.
He attended Endsleigh School in Colchester and was a keen rugby player, playing for Colchester Rugby Club 1st XV. He became Colchester and Essex Young Farmers chairman and went on to run the family farm at Thorrington, including a successful and popular pick your own strawberry business, for 40 years with wife Annabelle. He also spent more than 40 years in the agricultural sales trade, including 37 at P Tuckwells Ltd in Ardleigh, retiring in 2014.
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He was a standholder at the Tendring Show for many years, and this led to a strong affinity with show standholders. He became the show’s policy chairman in 2000.
An extremely capable and clever engineer, he loved the countryside and his farm. He also loved his boats. His labour of love was his Fairey Huntsman Shikari, rebuilt from the bare hull over a number of years.
He was described as a “true gentleman”, and “a real family man” by friends and fellow farmers. He was praised for his kindness, calmness, leadership, sense of humour and smile, and his selfless dedication to the farming community.
Tendring Hundred Farmers’ Club secretary Romany Foster said he was a great support to the farming youth on the show committee, and encouraged their progression. He was also keen to make sure the show was inclusive, and attracted urban families as well as farming ones.
She remembered his 2016 event when he was president as “a lovely show”, where everyone turned the tables and wanted him to have a good day. “He was universally liked,” she said. “He was always, always, pro-active and thinking forward.”
Son, Tom, said: “He leaves a huge hole, in the community and in our family. He had a very close relationship with his grandchildren and they thought the world of each other. We were all loved and cared for all our lives. And you always felt safe knowing he was standing there behind you, whatever the situation. But we also have wonderful memories and although cut tragically short, he lived his life to the full and made a positive impact on the lives of many. That’s something we should all aspire to.”
Fellow farmer Jim Macaulay said he had been one of his dearest friends.
“There was so much more to Tom than the Tendring Show, but his involvement with it illustrates how Tom conducted himself throughout his life.
“He knew that for a team to work at its best, you had to care for everyone in it, and he applied this to everything he did.
“Although he was always aware of the bigger picture, he never forgot the individual. He knew that it (and life) was about people – people like us - and how to help us achieve our best.
“He understood the fact that if you take part, you nearly always get out more than you put in. So he encouraged everyone to get involved. Every detail and each person mattered – every nut and every bolt.”
He leaves a wife, Annabelle, and two children, Tom and Polly, as well as five grandchildren.
The family is raising money in Tom Glover’s name for Colchester Hospice and bile duct cancer charity AMMF, which conducts research into the disease. Visit https://www.justgiving.com/remember/551009/Tom-Glover