Tributes paid to well-loved Tommy the Hat

Thomas Carr and his wife Pat.
Thomas Carr and his wife Pat.

Over 100 friends and family members paid tribute to a much-loved Sutton publican and former soldier at the weekend.

Thomas Carr passed away at Kings Mill Hospital on 28th August and a military service was held at Mansfield Crematorium on 10th September, followed by a special memorial event at St Joseph’s social club.

His wife Pat, who ran the Topps club and the Carnarvon Arms with him, said: “He wanted a party and that’s what he got! Everyone wore bright colours and the last song played was ‘Who Wants to Live Forever?’ by Queen. He was a regular at St Joseph’s where he was known as Tommy the Hat, because he never took his hat off. He was a very, very happy man - he would do anything for anybody. He was generous to a fault. He would lend people money even if he didn’t have it!”

Thomas was born in Blyth in Northumberland and enlisted in the army aged 14-and-a-half before serving in the Life Guards, the senior regiment of the British Army and part of the Household Cavalry, for seven years.

He began work at Rufford colliery before landing a job as fitness instructor at the Topps club where he met Pat, who was a squash coach. The couple then took the club over, before moving on to the Carnavon Arms for four years. They later moved to Tenerife for ten years where they ran bars and managed entertainments. Thomas retired because of poor health in 2005.

In May he and Pat attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace following his military service. Pat said: “It was fantastic - it was the chance of a lifetime that most people won’t get.”

He leaves daughter Laurie and grandchildren Tayler (11), Cole (9), Siena (3) and Pat’s granddaughter Shauna, as well as brothers David, Darren and John and sister Michelle and his mother Joyce. The service raised £225 for the British Legion.