Tom Nichols

I’m sure that many Islanders will be saddened to learn of the recent death of Tom Nichols. Tom features on the pages of this archive, as guitarist and vocalist in the Essex Five band, along with John Martin, Big Figure of Dr Feelgood fame. I remember, sometime in the mid-sixties, two occasions (I think) when a coach load of supporters from the Island, including myself, went to the Hammersmith Odeon, to cheer on the band at the annual NME New Band competition.

Around that time, Tom, along with my elder brother Peter, a life-long friend and others, were a common sight on the roads of Canvey and beyond as members of the Canvey Island Eagles Motor Cycle Club, holding their regular meetings at the Lobster Smack. Members were often to be found drinking coffee and listening to the Juke Box in the Commodore Café in Leigh Beck. At weekends, they took part in “Motorball” exhibitions, a form of football on motorbikes and enjoyed informal grass track racing and scrambling (Motocross in today’s parlance) on the dried bed of Tewkes Creek, before it was landscaped into the present-day sports grounds.

Tom, a qualified heating engineer made his living in the building construction and maintenance industry.

In the 1980’s he moved to Cambridgeshire where he indulged in his hobby of restoring and riding vintage motorcycles.

Condolences to Tom’s family and friends.

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