Former member of Farnborough Rotary Club Dave Thomas passed away in March 2017.

The funeral took place at Aldershot crematorium on Thursday 13th April.

Hi eulogy was read by a friend called Ian. We though we should post it here for posterity.

David John Thomas was born on 15 May 1943 to Fred and Doreen Thomas in Norwood Green, Middlesex. It may be a shock to some of you that he was actually born in England not Wales. He was the eldest of four siblings the other three being Tom, Gwynn and Mary who all survive him and are here today.
Not much is known of his early school years but we do know he went to Heston senior school and scraped through!!!! In his early years Dave had a paper round and a butchers delivery round, he also went to dancing lessons and sung in a choir.

Dave met Jenny Davies at Greenham Common fireworks display and married her at the age of 20 at Heston Church. They initially set up home in flats in Houston and Hounslow and he worked as a butcher for Sainsbury’s. In 1965 moved tpo Owlsmoor near Sandhurst and he started to work as a Baker’s deliveryman. Dave also worked part time in the Royal Swan in Blackwater for Norman and Kay Inkster which was to shape his future life.

In 1966, Paul the first of three children was born, followed by Nigel in 1968 and Samantha in 1970. During his children’s early years Dave had a number of sales jobs – selling encyclopaedias, carbon paper and furniture but never settled in any of them.

In August 1971 they took the brave decision to sell the house and take out the tenantship of the Tradesman’s Arms in Cove, Farnborough. They ran the pub successfully growing trade year-on-year and extending the property on a number of occasions over the next 18 years. They finally outgrew the pub in 1989 and took the unusual step of moving directly over the road to run the Old Courthouse. Over this time he picked up the nickname Sharkey in the public bar and dorsal in the saloon bar as a result of a varying, under the wire but strictly honourable, loan activity.

Dave developed a fondness for jewellery and at this stage of his life was often described as “the chap over there with gold dripping from his fingers”!

The bulk of their customers moved over the road with them and for the next 22 years until 2011 – the pub became the hub of Cove Village

Dave and Jenny separated in 1997 but continued to work together until Jenny retired in 2004.

In 2002 Dave married again, this time to Evelyn and became stepfather to Kirsty and Chloe.

Dave retired from the pub game on 4 February 2011.

Dave also worked as a local councillor for 10 years and was the proud president of Rushmoor Rugby Club the 24 years. He was a keen sportsmen, playing football for Southall town until injury brought that career to an end, squash in the top local league, Golf to handicap of 12, Pool, darts and shove ha’penny in the pub teams.

Dave was a prominent supporter of charity both individually and as part of the Licensed Victuallers Association, the Local Roundtable and belonged to Farnborough Rotary club. He could often be found shaking his tin in Queensmead.

His family remembers Dave’s family days out with fondness, they were normally memorable failures, involving wheels falling off, windows falling out, missing ferries and there was always Dave’s ability to trip over kerbs, roots, straws and on one occasion absolutely nothing.

Dave bravely fought throat cancer for eight years. Towards the end of his life and despite adversity, which caused him to lose the ability to speak he was a source of inspiration to his family.

David passed away peacefully on 25 March 2017 of the age of 73 at the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice surrounded by family.

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  1. David Thompson

    To

    David’s Family sadly I knew of the family and thhe pub within Cove after living in Cove for 10 yrs, end I ended up visiting the pub for a good pint, I’m deeply sadden to read of your loss. Rip My Friend …..DT

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