Obituary: ‘Everybody loved Tom’s Newsagents’

Tom in the shop when it first opened
Tom in the shop when it first opened

A retired Brookslands newsagent who was the heart and soul of the community has passed away.

Tom Wareham, the cheerful owner of Waterdell, aka ‘Tom’s Newsagents’ (now the Cooperative), has died aged 78 after a brave, three year battle with pancreatic cancer.

The  family and the shop girls

The family and the shop girls

Tom, his wife Maleta, 77, and daughter, Odette, 50, moved to the news agents in 1968 and ran it until the couple’s retirement in 1994, when Leedon Lower School held an assembly in their honour.

Maleta, who now lives in Great Brickhill, said: “Tom was the love of my life. He was always cheerful and smiling. The shop was a big family community and we saw children who were just born right through to when they grew up.”

Tom was born in Coventry in 1939, where he met Maleta, marrying her in 1962. A friend from the Brooklands area informed them that a newsagents was for sale, so Tom and Maleta moved down south and took up the challenge.

The couple also owned a shop in Corbet Square, Linslade and The Post Office, Stanbridge, even moving to a farm on Old Linslade Road whilst they still ran the shop, in order to farm cattle and attend horse events.

Odette said: “Dad always used to say ‘we’ll crack it, kid’. He ran the Christmas Club, so people could put money aside each year for presents, and he always got excited about Easter eggs, giving good prices. He was selfless. We want people to wear colour at his funeral.”

The family would like to thank the Florence Nightingale nurses and the Brooklands community for their support. Tom’s funeral will be held on Friday, March 31, in Oak Chapel, Crown Hill Crematorium, MK, at 10.45am.