The Probus Club of St Annes-on-the-Sea

Tom Sumner
12 November 1923 - 31 October 2011

Tom was born on 12th November 1923 at Scarisbrick near Southport, where his parents ran the Swan Hotel in Bescar Lane.  He went to the local school and on leaving got a job in a solicitor's office.  In 1943 at the age of 20 he signed on for 7 years in the RAF and trained (at one time in Canada) as a bomber pilot.  He was a sergeant pilot but he never flew any bombing missions. He did however fly Lancasters delivering supplies to places like Italy.

In 1948 he met Irene at a dance in Southport Floral Hall (his chat-up line was "How would you like some circuits and bumps?") and they were married the same year and later had a daughter, who now lives in Ansdell.  Tom and Irene had recently celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary.

On release from the RAF in 1950, he joined the Lancashire Police Force beginning as a constable at Orrell, near Wigan.  Rising through the ranks and after 14 moves, he became Chief Inspector at Clitheroe with four police stations, including Burnley, under his control.

On his retirement he and Irene moved to Lytham.  He said that having been on call for much of his working life, he wanted a peaceful life with no commitments but he was at one time President of the local Past Rotarians and Chairman of the Aircrew Association. He joined our Probus Club in 1986, so had been a member for 25 years, but never served on the committee or sought office; in fact when it was suggested that he be nominated for the presidency, he declined.  However, when asked to be chairman for the day, he always agreed, most recently in January 2010.  He and the late Denny Edwards, who was a near neighbour, used to take turns in driving the other to the club meetings.