Tom joined the Paviors in 1990. He was Chairman of the Admissions Committee for a number of years. He also organised the Swimathon for a several of years.
Tom spent most of his childhood in Eastern Nigeria and the Cameroons. He has memories of no electricity, ferries not bridges and laterite roads, which felt like driving over corrugated iron. It was this early insight into what Civil Engineering could achieve that made him decide to go into the Civil Engineering profession.
Tom went to school at Downside in Somerset and then New College, Oxford where he gained an honours degree in Engineering with Economics.
He joined Mowlem to work on the National Westminster Tower on the day of the first concrete pour for the raft of the Tower. He went on to design the slipforming methods for the core and then supervised the construction of the tower superstructure. During this time he became a Chartered Engineer. He subsequently wrote a paper for the Institution of Civil Engineers on the slipforming of the Tower for which he was awarded the Telford Medal.
Some of the other projects that he worked on whilst at Mowlem’s included a number of high security prisons, several hospitals, numerous office projects in the City and the John Lewis Department Store in Kingston, where the Client was Past Master John Carpenter – They are still talking!!
Tom also spent sometime travelling. He travelled on a regular basis to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, to Cyprus, and also to Kazan in Russia.
In Kazan he was involved in the planning of the construction of a new airport. This was shortly after the fall of communism and was absolutely fascinating as Kazan had been a military city closed to Westerners throughout the Cold War!
In 1997 Tom moved to Sir Robert McAlpine. In his time there he has been involved in some fascinating projects such as putting trams back into Croydon with Croydon Tramlink, a major PFI project for the MOD in Colchester (which has taken up 25% of his working life!) and of course the Millennium Bridge by St. Paul’s.
Despite its early problems it is a wonderful bridge and is a fantastic example as to how Construction and Civil Engineers can help development, in this case linking the more deprived Southwark right into the heart of the City.
On the office block front, Tom has been responsible for around 12 major buildings within the Square Mile. He readily admits to enjoying working in the centre of a vibrant City, such as London, which requires engineering innovative solutions to the many difficulties and problems that the very restricted access raises.
Tom has not yet retired, so he hopes that his current direct links with Industry will be of significant benefit to the Livery.
Tom has been married to Mary, who is a teacher, for 36 years. They have lived in Woking, Surrey, for most of that time, where they brought up their three children, James, Robert and Elizabeth. They now have three grandchildren – Hannah, Timothy and Isabella.
They own a sailing cruiser, which they keep on the Hamble, which Mary allows Tom to sail more often than he really should. She has pointed out to him that he is likely to have less time for this during his year as Master.
2012 Master’s Message
We have all just got through a fairly dire year and we face challenges through 2010. However, I am sure that the Paviors will rise above these problems and continue to flourish and grow from strength to strength.
We are moving forward to exciting times with our own home at Charterhouse. It is a real bonus that we have our own accommodation, however modest and I hope that you will all take the opportunities that arise to visit it.
Progress on the renovation of Paviors’ House has gone well and should be ready for occupation by the end of April. Arrangements are being made for the management and booking of Paviors’ House. These will be announced by the Clerk shortly.
We also look forward to Alderman Michael Bear being elected to Lord Mayor in November this year. This gives the Paviors both extra opportunities and challenges. I believe that Michael’s Mayoralty will raise the status of the Paviors within the City Community.
One of our responsibilities, as Michael’s Mother Company, is to raise funds for the Lord Mayor’s Charity. I have therefore decided to build on Keith Lambert’s Golf Day by organising a Charity Gala Dinner on 29th January 2011. The funds for this event will be split 50/50 between the Lord Mayor’s Charity and my chosen charity, which is the Tower Lifeboat station of the R.N.L.I. I do hope that we will be able to raise significant funds at this event.
Apart from the normal Livery events, I am arranging for a technical visit to the Olympic Stadium.
This year’s Midsummer Event will be at the Charterhouse giving the Livery the chance to see not only our new Paviors’ House but also all of the beautiful buildings that are within the Charterhouse.
I was privileged to spend three years living at New College, Oxford. This was founded in 1379, exactly 100 years before our Ordinances, with the main building dating from that time. I have arranged for a group of us to visit and stay at New College on 6th and 7th September. There will be more details later.
I do of course feel very honoured to be your Master. I hope to show you that your trust in me will not have been misplaced and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible throughout the year.
Past Master’s Reflections
It has been the most tremendous privilege to have been your Master for the last year. The amount of support that I have received from the Livery has been fantastic. Many of the events I have attended have been covered in The Pavior, so I will not repeat them.
However, the highlight of the year has been getting Paviors’ House up and running, culminating in the official opening by the Lord Mayor in January. Having our own home again is a real milestone. We need to look after it and cherish it, and make it become an important part of the Livery’s life.
Mary and I were privileged to go to Choral Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral several times during the year. On one occasion, we were invited to stay behind to look around the Cathedral with just a few other people. It was a fantastic experience being able to contemplate in such a huge church when it was almost silent. That evening, we also went to an exhibition of modern paintings of St Paul’s in the Crypt. Given my association with the Millennium Bridge, we were delighted to be able to buy a painting of the Bridge with St Paul’s in the background. This will be a great memento of the year.
Another discovery was the Central School of Ballet, where we saw a number of performances. The highlight was a beautiful performance in the main lobby of the Old Bailey, which was a wonderful experience.
There were, of course, many dinners and social events where we were able to represent the Paviors. All of these were enjoyed. The Paviors’ high reputation made this an easy task. The warmth and fellowship within the Livery is tremendous and this has made things very easy for Mary and myself.
Thank you again for all of your support.