Obituary: Tom Scott

The RNAA is very sad to announce the death of Tom Scott, a lifelong supporter of the Royal Norfolk Show. Our condolences go to his wife, Jill, a RNAA Council member, and his family at this time.

Michael Pollitt writes…

Tom Scott (1935-2020)

Farmer, countryman and a former joint Master of the West Norfolk Foxhounds, Tom Scott, died aged 85 at home in November 2020.

Tom Scott, aged 19, demonstrating sheep shearing at the 1954 Royal Norfolk Show – the first to be held on the permanent showground. Photo: Archant Library.

As a young farmer, he took part in the first Royal Norfolk Show to be staged on the Costessey showground in 1954. and he was presented to the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association’s President, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. For many years, the striking photograph of 19-year-old Tom Scott, who was shearing a sheep for a demonstration on the Norwich & Norfolk Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ stand, was displayed in the President’s pavilion.

Always quietly-spoken, he was respected by fellow farmers, the village and church community. His diplomatic skills came to the fore in five seasons as joint secretary to the West, one of the country’s oldest hunts, from 1979 and later two years as a joint Master of Foxhounds. Although he had followed hounds with his father Herbert, under the Mastership of the late Major Bob Hoare, he returned to hunting when he was 40.

Thomas Herbert Scott, who was born on January 5, 1935 and raised at Brick Kiln Farm, Daffy Green, near Bradenham, the youngest of six children. A former chairman of Dereham Young Farmers’ Club, he had a national proficiency test in shearing. As a result, 19-year-old Tom was asked to demonstrate the latest techniques to the president at the 1954 Royal Norfolk Show. It was the first on the Norfolk showground – and he was presented to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother on the Norwich & Norfolk YFC Federation stand. Four years later, he married Jill. They moved to Water Farm, Beeston next Mileham, in 1974, later taking on School Farm, in partnership with his son Hugh.

As his father had kept sheep, he became interested in sheep breeding and management. He became an inspector for the Suffolk Sheep Society, and in 1978 judged his first county show breed classes at the Royal Norfolk. He bred sheepdogs, gave demonstrations and took part in trials – and encouraged YFC members too. When shooting took over from hunting, he bred gundogs. It was this fascination with working dogs, which led to his true interest of watching dogs and hounds at work. He hunted with the North Norfolk Harriers and several beagle packs, watching hounds again.

Active in the village, he campaigned in November 1983 for Beeston to have main sewerage at a cost £12,500. He was churchwarden at St Mary the Virgin for two lengthy spells when the church successfully faced funding challenges to repair the roof. The latest project to restore the landmark spire, with £300,000 from the Heritage Lottery, started recently. He worked with the American 392nd Bomb Group Memorial Association to refurbish their memorial on the edge of the village.

He leaves a widow, Jill, two children, Hugh and Ellena, five grandchildren and a great grandson.

A family funeral will be held later this month.