Tom Goode teacher, youth worker, Uttoxeter 1922-2012

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Description:Thomas (Tom) E Goode, teacher, youth worker, local historian and author was born in Middlesex in 1922. He was a great cycling enthusiast as a boy and he often cycled to Brighton and Kent in a day from his then home in Teddington, Middlesex. This regular training would stand him in good stead some years later. He was also a rower and long distance runner, maintaining the cycling and running well into the 1960s when he was in his forties. Tom attended Hampton School, Middlesex before gaining a place at Magdalen College, Oxford. His academic aspirations were abruptly brought to an end by the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. He immediately joined the Army lying about his age as he was three months short of his 18th birthday. In 1943 he met his future wife Enid Smith at The Plaza Ballroom in Derby and the couple married that same year at Mayfield, Staffordshire. Tom saw active service in France soon after D-Day. After being demobbed in 1946 he joined the thousands of other soldiers, sailors and airmen looking for work. Tom literally got on his bike to do this. He obtained a place at Nelson Hall Teacher Training College at Cotes Heath, near Stone and cycled there and back every day from Uttoxeter for a year 1947-48 – a return journey of some fifty miles. His first teaching experience was at Hanley Girls' Secondary Modern School and later at the Moorlands Road Tech., Burslem, Hanley High School and at Chell. Newly qualified teachers were not well paid and for a year 1951-1952, in order to supplement his income and support his family, he worked evenings. On four evenings a week – returning at midnight – plus Saturday and Sunday, Tom cycled eleven miles to Rugeley to work as a Telephone Operator at the G.P.O. - General Post Office Telephone Exchange, connecting calls manually between subscribers in the days before this was done automatically. He also cycled regularly fifteen miles from Uttoxeter to Stafford from 1946 until 1953 when he bought his first car. Over those years Tom spent many hours at night cycling along dark unlit roads of Staffordshire at a time when there was no road lighting outside towns and would later nostalgically comment, “How brilliant the stars were on cloudless nights. How dark the countryside was on moonless nights”.
In the early 1950s Mr Goode was teaching in Uttoxeter where he taught at Bradley Street Junior School and then Oldfields Boys' School before moving to Alleyne's High School where he taught a range of subjects but mainly science and maths. Over the years Tom was also involved in a host of extra-curricular activities including a youth club, an Army Cadet Force, a Drama Group and a football team. He also helped run at one stage to run a youth club at Stafford Gaol in the Young Offenders' Wing and taught at Foston Hall Detention Centre, near Uttoxeter. Mr Goode saw his work with young people as more of a vocation than a career. In between times he was a captain in the Territorial Army, Parish Clerk at Uttoxeter and a member of Uttoxeter Dramatic Society.
In 1962 the Goodes moved to Denstone where they built their own house with views over the Weaver Hills. Mr Goode was a keen local historian and wrote a history of Denstone entitled "Denstone" North Staffordshire which was published in 1989 and was quickly out of print. He also contributed an amusing story of his travels on the A518 for inclusion in The Road to Chartley by Jim Foley. He was a regular writer to the letters page of newspapers and much in demand as a speaker on local history. The couple, who had two children Sue and Nick, were married for 68 years. Mrs Goode died in 2011 and had been cared for by her husband Tom, then in his late eighties, for three years. Tom Goode died on August 26th 2012 aged 90.

Research by Jim Foley

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Creators: Mr Nick Goode - Contributor

Image courtesy of: Mr Jim Foley

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Source: Miscellaneous Collection

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