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Former Maidenhead mayor Roy Thomas passes away aged 96

A former councillor and mayor born and bred in Maidenhead has passed away at the age of 96.

Roy Thomas, who served on the council during the 1960s and early 1970s, died on Friday, June 5 at Harwood House Care Home in Cookham Dean.

Born in All Saints Avenue in May 1924, Roy attended Gordon Road School and Maidenhead County Boys before becoming an apprentice engineer.

When the Second World War struck he joined the RAF and trained as a pilot and then navigator trainer in Canada.

Roy left the RAF in the late 1940s and joined the family business – HW Thomas & Son, a heavy haulage firm based in Denmark Street. He was credited with building the first crane after the war.

Son Ian said: “He could see the need for lifting facilities around Maidenhead.”

Roy married his wife Joy, from Littlewick Green, in December 1947 and the pair had two other children: Simon and Sue Lambeth.

They were married for more than 70 years until Joy’s death in September 2018. He also had seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Ian added: “He was very determined, but I think he was very fair.”

His other roles included director, along with his sons, of vehicle dealers Cordwallis Commercials Ltd. He was once general commissioner for income tax, justice of the peace at the local magistrates’ courts, a freemason and also a member of Maidenhead Rotary Club.

Roy had ties with the Advertiser, too, by becoming one of the original trustees appointed by Louis Baylis, the paper’s proprietor.

“He was a loving and caring man, a very generous and supportive father, he led a full and busy life, initially, in the family business and latterly in the many aspects of life around the community of Maidenhead,” Ian said.

During his stints on the old Maidenhead Borough Council, Roy represented St Mary’s for the Liberals in the early 1960s.

He was mayor of Maidenhead in 1966/67 and 1967/68.

An honorary member of Bowls England, Roy was involved heavily in the Maidenhead sport scene, becoming president and patron of Maidenhead Town Bowls Club, and also chairman, life member and trustee. He was president of the Berkshire Bowling Association in 1988, and president of the England Bowling Association in 1991 – with whom he played bowls across the globe.

He also branched out into football – becoming president of Maidenhead United Football Club for many years. His work with the Louis Baylis Trust wasn’t his only charitable work either – Roy was chairman of the Spoore Merry Rixman Foundation, The Haven of Rest Almshouses in Bridge Road and the King George VI Club.

Bowls England said it ‘sends its condolences to Roy’s three children and family and friends’.

“He will be remembered and missed by many,” it added.

No details are yet available for the funeral.

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