City elders don their robes to say farewell to a ‘good guy’

Photo Neil Cross
The funeral of Preston Councillor Tom Davies at St John's Minster
Photo Neil Cross The funeral of Preston Councillor Tom Davies at St John's Minster
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Preston turned out the civic regalia to say farewell to one of the city’s best-loved councillors.

Conservative Tom Davies died last week at the age of 71 and was given a full civic funeral to reflect the affection council members had for him.

The city’s Minster was packed for the tribute to the former Scots Guardsman and police officer who represented Preston Rural East ward for the past 12 years.

“Everyone knew the place would be full to the rafters because of the sort of man we were saying goodbye to,” said long-term friends and fellow Tory councillor David Hammond. “He was one of the good guys”

“Not everyone on the council is offered a civic funeral. It is only for those who are deserving because of the work they’ve put in and the contribution they’ve made to Preston.

“Tom deserved it because he made a huge contribution behind the scenes.”

Tom, a father of five, was brought up in the Holme Slack area of Preston and joined the Scots Guards in 1963. He served two tours of duty in the Far East before leaving the Army and joining the police force at Preston.

“When he first told me he fancied standing for the council he said he would love to represent the Holme Slack area because he had been brought up there and it was on his beat as a police officer,” said Coun Hammond.

“But it was a staunch Labour area and so, a couple of years later, we found him a safer seat.”

All the city’s councillors and Mayor Coun John Collins turned out in their full civic robes and hats and formed a guard of honour as his coffin was driven away from the church to the city’s crematorium.