Roehampton Garden Society

Tom Murphy 1942-2021

Tom Murphy 1942-2021

Just before Christmas we heard of the sudden death of one of our long standing members. Tom Murphy was a well loved character and a friend to many neighbours on site 3. He had been an allotmenteer for over 35 years and would always share advice on growing things. He still used very traditional methods to grow his produce – usually potatoes (double dug and deep trenched) and wonderful cabbages. He cut the grass on the common paths on both allotment sites for many years, fetching petrol for the mower on the bus and walking the mower between sites!

We will miss him.

Bill Young writes this memoir:

We will all remember Tom with some affection. Tom always had a ready smile and a mischievous twinkle in his eye. Even gardening, he was always smartly suited and booted. Several people who were Tom’s immediate neighbours on the allotment, all have their own versions of the following story:

One hot summers day in 2014 – Tom appeared on his allotment dressed as was usual, in a suit, collar and tie.   From his shed he produced a coat hanger, then proceed to hang his jacket on that.  As the sun was glaring down on him in his shirtsleeves, he started a rummage within his shed, finally he produced a sun-hat.  The Australians have a wide brimmed bush hat, complete with dangling corks all along the brim – to ward off the flies.  Tom had his own, the Murphy version!  Emblazoned on the crown it said GUINNESS,  on the brim, numerous small plastic Guinness bottles dangled – to ward off flies.  To cap it all, in a fine tenor voice whilst hoeing – he serenaded everyone with the following :- “Old Man River”, “Mississippi Queen” . Capping it off with Johnny Cash’s “I walk the Line” “Folsom Prison Blues” and finally “Ring of Fire”

Post nubila Phoebus

Bill Young 24/12/21

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