Sweet king Tom is in­ter­net sen­sa­tion

Lennox Herald - - MEMORY LANE -

A le­gend who has put a smile on the face of gen­er­a­tions in Ren­ton be­came an in­ter­net hero.

And moves are afoot to or­gan­ise a spe­cial day in the vil­lage to hon­our sweet shop owner Tom Swan – who has served Ren­ton for over five decades.

Ren­ton man Billy Thom­son started the Tom Swan Ap­pre­ci­a­tion So­ci­ety on web­site Face­book and was stunned when over 1000 peo­ple from across the world signed up in just one week.

Billy, 26, set up the trib­ute page af­ter spot­ting Tom’s in­fa­mous Main Street sweet shop men­tioned on the net­work­ing site.

He said: “I thought it would be nice to pay homage to Tom Swan be­cause the shop is an in­sti­tu­tion in Ren­ton.

“I thought a few peo­ple from Ren­ton, Dum­bar­ton or a bit fur­ther afield who had known him would join. I didn’t ex­pect the re­ac­tion it got. I started the page last Wed­nes­day and within a week 1000 peo­ple from 11 dif­fer­ent coun­tries in three con­ti­nents had signed up to be mem­bers. It’s been amaz­ing.

“Peo­ple have been go­ing into the shop and tak­ing Tom’s pic­ture and putting them up on the page.

“At first peo­ple were just talk­ing about their favourite sweets but then they started swap­ping sto­ries about Tom him­self and one thing that really came through is how nice a guy he is.

“When it be­came so pop­u­lar, I thought I bet­ter go and tell Tom. I was a bit ner­vous be­cause I thought he might not be too pleased but he was de­lighted.” Billy’s dad Archie is now plan­ning a Tom Swan Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Day for the whole com­mu­nity to come out and hon­our the hero.

He said: “The posts on Face­book are amaz­ing. Peo­ple are say­ing he is a le­gend and that’s com­ing from guys in­clud­ing serv­ing Bri­tish sol­diers.

“I want to or­gan­ise a Tom Swan Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Day in the vil­lage with Tom as the guest of hon­our to cel­e­brate his con­tri­bu­tion to our vil­lage.

“Tom has served this com­mu­nity for over five decades. Ev­ery­one knows him and he’s loved through­out the area.

“Tom and his wife Mary are two phe­nom­e­nal char­ac­ters. You go in for a quar­ter of soor plooms and leave with two tonnes of ad­vice.

“He has in­flu­enced boy and man for as long as I can re­mem­ber. My granny was served by Tom and now my grand­chil­dren are go­ing into his shop and buy­ing his sweets. I think that’s amaz­ing.

“His till is a pen and pa­per. His men­tal arith­metic and power of re­call must be amaz­ing.

“A num­ber of groups and visi­tors come to Ren­ton to see what we have achieved here and no-one leaves with­out me first tak­ing them to Tam’s.

“Tom knows about the site, he said he’s steal­ing my crown as Mr Ren­ton, but that ti­tle has al­ways been his.”

Tom has owned the shop for 47 years – af­ter tak­ing over from his grand­mother – but has been be­hind the counter in Main Street for 55 years.

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