In researching the history of Longfields a few people have mentioned the ‘Tom Jones’ room. This was intriguing and needed further investigation! Press cuttings from 1975 have revealed the mystery behind the story.
The story begins with the fund raising activities of the ‘Bridge across the Pond’ chapter of the Tom Jones International Fan Club. Nancy Ross who was the president of this club, flew from her home in Bel Air, Maryland to present a cheque of £500 to the association along with a signed portrait of Tom. This was done on behalf of the British and American chapter members.
How was this link made with the association?
Tom had been asked to comment on what type of ‘project near his home he would like to benefit’ from the fundraising activities of the chapter. He suggested that it should go to a project for ‘handicapped children’. After various fundraising activities – including the sale of photographs of Tom Jones and a Tom Jones calendar – the Chair of the chapter, Ruth Brooks, contacted Mr Paton, Hon. Secretary of the association. A date was set to meet at Longfields and present the cheque.
The money raised went towards furnishing a bedroom in the house and the framed portrait of Tom was hung on the wall. Nancy then had a holiday in Wales, spending some time in Pontypridd. The chapter continued a connection with the association sending Christmas and birthday gifts.
If you can add any details to this story then please get in touch. I wonder if the ‘Bridge across the Pond’ chapter of the Tom Jones International Fan Club is still in existence. Further investigation needed!