Groundsman ‘gobsmacked’ by surprise

Tom Lockyer surprise party
Tom Lockyer surprise party

A former builder who has made his mark in Nuthall as a groundsman was the unsuspecting victim of a 65th birthday surprise that left him both “ Overcome and gobsmacked!”

Tom Lockyer, who has worked for Nuthall Parish Council at Basil Russell Recreation Ground for the past 12 years, including the past three as head groundsman, turned up for his normal shift in good spirits.

But waiting for him was a surprise get-together on the park in Maple Drive organised by council clerk Sue Stack in collaboration with others, including Tom’s wife of 31 years, Andrea.

An eye-catching banner with the words ‘Tom’s 65th — not retiring yet’ greeted him and the presence of work colleagues past and present, councillors and representatives of local groups and sporting organisations which have benefitted from his expertise, were on hand to share in his special occasion.

Among the guests were local police officers Paul Maltby and Neil Reddish, Jim Dymond from Kimberley Cricket Club and Nuthall Parish Council chairman Cllr Derek Burnett.

Tom’s young work colleague Leon Hall and his former ‘boss’ Bill Greathead, who he said ‘has taught me everything’ helped to make the birthday surprise all the more memorable.

“ I never expected such a wonderful celebration and I am grateful to everyone who has turned out to make the milestone event a memorable one,” Tom added.

“ I have no intention of retiring and I really enjoy playing my part in keeping this lovely community recreation ground in good order.” he said.