Tom Smith

A strange one today, folks.

Following on from yesterday’s post about a road north of Maze Hill, Gemma has just moved into Tom Smith Close (just South of the station) and she’s understandably wondering who the hell Tom Smith is/was.

Of course, it’s a bugger to Google as there must be about twenty million Tom Smiths online at any point in time.

One, 18th Century Commodore Thomas Smith is in some paintings in the NMM – but it would seem a bit casual just to call a Commodore ‘Tom.’

The only other Thomas Smith I found in local books is a rather obscure schoolteacher who taught at the Paragon School in Blackheath in the mid 19th Century. I’d say it was unlikely it was named after him…

My best guess is that he was a councillor of great merit and/or influence around the time the block was built – what – thirty years ago? And indeed, I have found a Labour councillor, Tom Smith, who was elected in the Marsh Ward in 1968, though I can discover no more about him than that – just what his deeds were to have a close named after him is now shrouded in the mists of history.

Anyone know who Tom Smith was, and why he had a close named for him?


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