Peter Deeley remembers his friend and colleague


Photograph by David Mansell

Tom Davies, who was with the paper in the early eighties and wrote Pendennis for two years, has died in his native Wales, aged 83.

To know Tom, as I did, was to find yourself sometimes in the shadow of an idiosyncratic volcano. He was contemptuous of much modern (80s+) journalism:  violent, vicious, perverted were just three words falling from his pen when he gave up newspapers and turned to books instead with some success.

He had a religious depth which he reserved for his later writings and wanderings – both in his mind and on foot, following the route of early Christian pilgrimages.

There was another bubbly side to his personality which he brought to newspapers (he was not exclusive in his choice of outlets, having worked for the Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Times).

It was Tom who introduced me, close to middle age, to the joy of cycling.  He believed the bicycle took down “all imprisoning walls.”

He and I once had the unusual experience (on behalf of a story for The Observer) of arresting a blackmailer whom we had trapped by leaving money in a waste bin in a London park. We took him to Scotland Yard only to be told it was no longer a police station!

Thanks, Peter. RIP Tom.