Farewell to a true Northumberland gent

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AN Ilderton man who was dedicated to his local community has died at the age of 77.

Born in 1933 at Lilburn, Tom Sale was the younger of identical twins and had a very close relationship with his twin brother Bill.

Older brother Robert and sister Susan completed a very happy family with many fond childhood memories spent playing in Lilburn.

A keen sportsman, cricket became a very important part of his life and during his spell of National Service with The Northumberland Fusiliers, his Commanding Officer saw this talent and demanded he play cricket for the Army.

After leaving the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, Tom returned to Northumberland to work for his father and by the mid-1970s had significantly grown John Sale & Partners to a six-office network managing many of the largest estates in Northumberland.

In 1988, he sold the estate agency while successfully continuing with Sale and Partners, based in Wooler.

The firm still enjoys as strong a reputation today as it did in Tom’s years.

Tom’s genuine passion for Northumberland saw him become High Sheriff in 1985, a role which he was hugely honoured by.

One of his other great contributions to Northumberland was in becoming the first chairman of the Glendale Gateway Trust and he was awarded an OBE in 2003 for services to the community.

He married Margot in 1959 and had two sons, Henry and Tim. During 52 years of marriage, Tom had unwavering support from Margot as he beat lung cancer and heart problems.

Tom himself would say he had a wonderful life and it was a privilege to live in north Northumberland.

With five loving grandchildren and many dear friends, he spent his last few days enjoying many of his great passions – family, friends, horse racing at Kelso and playing golf.