Tom Cotton

Tom was at New Lodge Windsor and from the mid 90s Tom organised the Windsor
Tom along with his Brother Bill were at Goldings in the late forties early fifties.
Like his brother Bill who was a couple of years older, both were in Aberdeen House.
Tom was in the printing department and went on to serve his apprenticeship at
Goldings and was in digs in Hertford.
After leaving Goldings he obtained a job within the printing industry at Cambridge
University press he then obtained a job in Norfolk were he stayed a number of years
and then he relocated to the Portsmouth area.

I woke up to life according as my memory serves me in a Barnardo Home called
Honingham Hall near Norwich. I was not aware then that I had two brothers.
Vaguely I remember being fostered in a Cambridgeshire village and my foster-mother
I went to Goldings at 13 3/4, Tom followed me a year or so later. As I write these
thoughts, I find myself wishing that Tom was here to help me. He had an extraordinary
capacity to remember things past. In latter years he would regale me with details I
had long since forgotten. One of the most amusing was that on one occasion at
New Lodge he had crept up behind me, as I was reading my accustomed book,
snatched it from my hands and raced off, with me in full pursuit calling down curses
on his head! I confessed I had totally forgotten the incident.
At Goldings we both went into printing. I was in the composer/keyboard department,
Tom in the machine rooms doing the final printing. Tom took a great pride in being in
the Army Cadet band, where he revelled in swinging the mace at the front.
He joined the air force under national service and trained as an officer's batman. I came
to think he actually enjoyed. Whether that is so or not, it must have served him well in
personal and family life.
Once again my memory falters. After leaving the services I went to work at the
Cambridge University Press, and I am fairly sure that Tom joined me there. However,
it was not for long because I left the CUP and went to train for Christian missionary
work in South America.
With intermittent brief visits to UK this period of my life meant 20 years of having
very little contact with Len and Tom. In fact the three of us were not at any point
physically together for 27 years. What a loose-knit fragile 'family' we were.
But though we each went his own way, each married and had children, and lived as
happy and satisfied families. Tom's was way the biggest with four children, three
daughters and one son, and 15 grandchildren. On the latter score I once complained
to him that it was an injustice that he should have 15 grandchildren, and I his older
brother should have none. To which he wittily replied, "You can have half of mine
if you like".
In those 20 years that we were separated, Tom became active in Trade Union
activities and other local community activities in the well-known area of Paulsgrove,
Portsmouth. He was, in other words, a man of considerable activity. Not the least was
his constant work on the Barnardo Old Boys' Guild, the Goldings annual Reunions,
and the less annual New Lodge Reunions.

Bill Cotton Goldings

Page Compiled September 2014

All images and text copyright to Goldings Old Boys reunion members