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Farewell Tom. Who will fill our letters page now
11:50am Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in News
THE letters page of the Avdertiser, along with that of several other publications, will take a bit more filling now that Tom Wareing has died.
The former Redditch councillor had nearly 2,000 letters published in regional newspapers on a range of issues associated with education, training, defence, broadcasting and even society’s declining moral and social standards.
Clarence Thomas Wareing, who was 86, was a prominent member of the Redditch community and well known and liked by all.
Born in Sparkbrook, Birmingham he was the oldest of four children.
Although academically gifted he left school at 14 to become an apprentice bricklayer and worked in the construction industry.
He also joined the Home Guard Anti-aircraft Battery based at Bartley Green having lied about his age in order to enlist.
By the age of 17 he had been promoted to Troop Sergeant and enlisted into the Corps of Royal Engineers as a regular soldier.
During leave from Palestine he married Beryl Fisher and is quoted as saying “in 1947 I made the wisest decision I have ever made in my life”.
A year later, while serving in Kenya, Mr Wareing contracted malaria which led to him being discharged from the Army as medically unfit.
Out of the Army he continued his studies and construction work before becoming a full-time lecturer at Bromsgrove College of Further Education.
Following a period as a lecturer in management studies Mr Wareing left further education to become a training adviser with the CITB until his retirement.
It was after moving to Redditch in the early 1960s and the birth of his sons that his letters to the editor began to appear.
At first he adopted the nom de plume Hadrian before reverting to either C.T or simply Tom in letters that were pasted into scrap books now held in the Worcestershire county archive.
He was first elected to Redditch Urban District Council in 1972 as a Labour councillor.
He served on Hereford and Worcester County Council from 1973-77, before disenchantment with the increasing influence of the militant left of the party led Mr Wareing to declare himself an independent, before joining the Conservatives in 1976.
Throughout the late 1970s and 80s as the Redditch new town project reached completion, Mr Wareing served in a variety of roles.
These included secretary and chairman of the Redditch Conservative Association, the local branch of the Conservative Trade Unionists and as member of the NHS Task Force.
He served two further terms as a Redditch councillor (1979-1983 and 1991-1995) before being elected as a county councillor on the newly established Worcestershire County Council.
He retired in 2008 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer but never stopped working tirelessly for the community.
Additionally, he served as governor of a number of schools including Dingleside Middle School, Redditch College, now NEW College, and Bridley Moor High School as well as working with the Royal British Legion and the Salvation Army.
He wrote two books including an autobiography (1995) and an account of his work as a county councillor (2008) as well as contributing to Johnson and Bradford’s memories of old Redditch series (2007).
A special service to celebrate Mr Wareing’s life took place earlier this week at Redditch Ecumenical Centre, Evesham Walk followed by committal at Redditch Crematorium.
He is survived by his wife of 66 year Beryl and sons David, Bob, Paul and Mark.
He also leaves behind his beloved daughters-in-law, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
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