Tribute to Stevenage community stalwart Tommy Archer, famed for bricklaying skills
PUBLISHED: 15:22 20 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:39 20 October 2017
A man who devoted much of his life to charity, the community and helping others has died at the age of 84.
A bricklayer by trade, Tommy Archer moved to Stevenage in the early 1970s to help build Lister Hospital and estates in the town.
A father-of-five, Tommy had a strong community spirit and was a keen charity supporter. From driving a minibus to transport young people with disabilities to being an active member on the Stevenage Day committee for almost 20 years, he was a community stalwart.
In 2000, as a member of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes – which has similar objectives to a rotarty club – Tommy helped to raise the funds and build the Haven Garden at Lister Hospital.
His daughter, Anji Archer, said: “After visiting many friends in the Strathmore Wing he wanted to create a space for patients and staff to enjoy, so he set out to make sure this happened.
“Dad supported local charities, raising money by participating in the Stevenage annual carnival, creating imaginative prize-winning themed floats.
“He was a very humble man and just got on with things.”
She continued: “He lived in the Oaks Cross area of Stevenage for 43 years and knew a lot of people. He was very sociable and always made time for people. He was very well liked and he had a strong sense of community.
“I’m an artist and he was always very supportive of my work. He adored his family and we all miss him.
“He was a lovely man – kind, caring and considerate. He always had a smile on his face and loved to talk.
“He was well-known for his bricklaying skills and would often have a waiting list of eager clients.”
Tommy didn’t retire until he was 76, and a year later he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Anji said: “It was hard for him because he was a very independent man. It’s a very cruel disease.”
Tommy caught pneumonia and died on October 5 where he lived in Elizabeth Court, on Graveley Road in Stevenage.
He leaves behind four children, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
His funeral will be held at 2pm on Tuesday, October 24, at Harwood Park Crematorium on Watton Road in Stevenage. All who knew Tommy are welcome to attend.