Independent retailer Tom Hennessy has died at the age of 85

Independent retailer Tom Hennessy has died at the age of 85

Retired independent retailer and life honorary vice president of the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders (NFMFT), Tom Hennessy has passed away, aged 85.

Known as ‘The Proper Butcher’ he was once described as such by The Queen Mother and it was also the name of his shop in Mitcham.

Tom was born in Battersea, south London and learnt his trade with Kayes of Tooting. He became a director of three shops, eventually becoming the proud owner of one in Balham, which he then sold to buy his Mitcham premises.

Tom was a colourful and larger than life character and his shop provided not just meat for his customers but entertainment too. His enthusiasm for his trade was infectious and in his day he was also a champion jiver, boxer, karate expert and in later life a pretty sharp bowls player too.

Tom’s work for the industry was extensive. He was London President of the Retail Meat Trade in 1981 and 1990, having been chairman of the South West London Butchers in 1977. He then became NFMFT president, finishing in 1992. In his time as national president at the NFMFT Tom said there were particular highlights: “We took BDCI nationwide, we started the Shop With Assurance Scheme and I was honoured with a dinner at the Butchers’ Hall, which I will never forget. I still get a lump in my throat at the kindness shown to me then.” He was also a Rotarian, Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Butchers, a member of The Institute of Meat and an Associate Member of the Royal Society of Health.

Tom married his wife, Pam who he met in 1948 at a dance hall in Tooting.

His hard work and dedication to the meat industry he loved will be remembered by all those who knew him.



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