Sweet king Tom is internet sensation
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.