Tom Davies obituary

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In his Fleet Road heyday within the Seventies, my husband, the journalist and writer Tom Davies, who has died aged 82 from dementia and pneumonia, labored on a number of broadsheet papers, writing the diary columns Atticus for the Sunday Instances and Pendennis for the Observer. At all times unconventional, he was described by his fellow journalist Peter Deeley as an “idiosyncratic volcano”.

He had began out as a instructor, with Voluntary Service Abroad in Indonesia and Malaysia, after graduating in 1963, after which taught at a secondary faculty in Cardiff, earlier than becoming a member of the Western Mail as a trainee in 1966. He moved to the Sunday Instances in 1970. Over the subsequent 15 years he wrote for the Sunday Instances, the Observer and the Sunday Telegraph, in addition to doing freelance work for a number of different publications and for radio.

He loved what he known as “nutty” journalism, the place he interviewed actresses whereas they rode on his handlebars round London, or went to pop concert events and met the teams. When he wrote about one actress whose play was doing badly within the West Finish the ticket gross sales soared and Tom grew to become a lot in demand. However he additionally tackled critical topics comparable to an investigation into the state of the London hospital in Whitechapel, and he went to Northern Eire a number of occasions to report on the Troubles – assignments he discovered tough.

Finally he determined to withdraw from journalism and took the household to reside in California, the place he produced his first ebook, Merlyn the Magician and the Pacific Coast Freeway (1982), writing about cities everywhere in the world from the standpoint of his bicycle. He went on to make pilgrimages, some by bike, round Britain, Eire, Europe, the far east and North America. He revealed 16 books, a combination of novels, journey and spiritual titles, in addition to a memoir, The Reporter’s Story, in 2009.

Tom was born in Pontypridd and grew up in Cardiff, the eldest son of Phyllis (nee Ford) and Jack Davies, a steelworks brickie. Whereas nonetheless at Canton highschool, he labored for Campbell Steamers in the summertime holidays within the Bristol Channel, serving meals to vacationers. He gained a scholarship to check philosophy at Cardiff College and served as a service provider seaman in his summer time breaks, making a voyage to Australia in 1960 and to South Africa the next 12 months. He spent the summer time of 1962 in New York as a volunteer social employee.

I first met Tom at a scholar get together in Cardiff in 1964. He instructed me I shouldn’t trouble with him as a result of he’d be lifeless by 30. I bothered, married him (in 1967) and proceeded to show him flawed. We had three sons, Julian, Steffan and Nathan. Within the early 2000s he and I moved to Bala, in Eryri (Snowdonia) nationwide park, the place we ran an artwork gallery, in a former butcher’s store, for 17 years.

Tom and I travelled extensively within the final 20 years: in 2014, we went to Australia, purchased a campervan and drove 22,000km around the nation. He typically mentioned it was the most effective 12 months of his life. He wrote a ebook concerning the journey, Bush Revelations, revealed in 2015.

He’s survived by me, and by Julian, Steffan and Nathan, 4 grandchildren and a sister, Jackie.

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