Respected Geezer, Don Tomlin, Dies of Coronavirus

Don in a collective group photograph with two members from Tower Hamlets Health and all The Geezers members at the Tredegar Community Centre

DON TOMLIN: THE GEEZERS TRIBUTE

Sadly Don Tomlin, a key member of The Geezers, very sadly passed away on 5th April 2020 in the Royal London Hospital from the Coronavirus. He was overcome by it very quickly.

Don Tomlin celebrating his 80th Birthday, which was on 30th Sept 2019
Don Tomlin celebrating his 80th Birthday, which was on 30th Sept 2019
Don with fellow Geezers Barrie Stradling and Ricky Ayliffe and Barrie's friend Michael Karlstrom from Sweden in a Social Gathering in the Eleanor Arms
Don (left) with fellow Geezers Barrie Stradling and Ricky Ayliffe and Barrie’s friend Michael Karlstrom from Sweden in a Social Gathering in the Eleanor Arms
L-R Don, Ted Lewis and Ricky outside Appian Court in 2016
L-R Don, Ted Lewis and Ricky outside Appian Court in 2016. Ted was a founder member of The Geezers
As Don Tomlin very rarely ate any food - when he did we took a photo! Here he's having a meal in the Wetherspoons Half Moon pub on Mile End Road
As Don very rarely ate any food – when he did we took a photo! Here he’s having a meal in the Wetherspoons Half Moon pub on Mile End Road

Don joined The Geezers on 11th August 2015 always attended all the club’s weekly meetings. The top photo shows Don in a collective group photograph with two visitors from Tower Hamlets Health. He was always keen in taking part in numerous projects that the club were involved in, for example –

Katja’s Art Projects: Babel Exhibition at St Augustine Tower, Old EastEnders The Palm Tree and Misbehaviour at Mile Art Pavillion.

Don with fellow Geezer Ray Gipson with an artist at Babel Exhibition in St Augustine's Tower
Don (centre) with fellow Geezer Ray Gipson with an artist at Babel Exhibition in St Augustine’s Tower
Don with fellow Geezers Ricky Ayliffe and Ray Gipson, plus various artists outside The Palm Tree for Old EastEnders project
Don with fellow Geezers Ricky Ayliffe and Ray Gipson, plus various artists outside The Palm Tree for Old EastEnders project
Don with Geezers members, John Day, Ricky Ayliffe, Ray Gipson, Tony Basra and John McLaughlin some with their partners at Sadler's Wells Theatre to see 'Home Turf' - a musical about West Ham United
Don with Geezers members, John Day, Ricky Ayliffe, Ray Gipson, Tony Basra and John McLaughlin some with their partners at Sadler’s Wells Theatre to see ‘Home Turf’ – a musical about West Ham United

The Active Energy Project: This twelve-year project commenced as a response to Queen Mary University research into older people’s experience failing to inform the development of new technologies. Through this artist Loraine Leeson met The Geezers, a men’s group at AgeUK Bow, who wished to work with tidal power.

Video featuring the Geezers from the Active energy Project

With the help of engineers and further fundraising they developed and tested a prototype turbine for the Thames, held two exhibitions, worked with young people to produce a wind turbine for an AgeUK roof, contributed to three university research projects, conducted numerous joint presentations, collaborated with a seniors’ group in Pittsburgh, and produced floating water wheels to provide aeration for rivers, the latest installed in 2019 in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Active Energy Project at Bow School, Don Tomlin right

Bethnal Green Weight Training Club over 50s Weekly Sessions.

Don Tomlin (right) with fellow Geezers Ricky Ayliffe, Ray Gipson and Brian Godfrey at Bethnal Green Weight Training Club for over 50s Session
Don Tomlin (right) with fellow Geezers Ricky Ayliffe, Ray Gipson and Brian Godfrey at Bethnal Green Weight Training Club for over 50s Session

Where’s My Boozer Gone Project.

Caledonian Arms, Fairfield Road, Bow
The Caledonian Ams 62 Fairfield Road, Bow
Opened – 1851   Closed – 2000

Space Studios New Technology Project.

Being the Story. Don is in the video below.

The Mill House Patterns Language Restoration Project:

Don with fellow Geezers Barrie Stradling, Ricky Ayliffe and Ray Gipson at 'Patterns Language' Restoration Exhibition at House Mill
Don with fellow Geezers Barrie Stradling, Ricky Ayliffe and Ray Gipson at ‘Patterns Language’ Restoration Exhibition at House Mill

The East End Canal Festival.

Alzheimer’s Friends Day at Leyton Orient:

Don Tomlin (right) with fellow Geezers Ray Gipson and Ricky Ayliffe at Leyton Orient Football Club for Alzheimer's Friends Day
Don Tomlin (right) with fellow Geezers Ray Gipson and Ricky Ayliffe at Leyton Orient Football Club for Alzheimer’s Friends Day

The Men’s Health Day and Health Projects with Bow School.
Hairy Bikers filming in The Cardigan pub about lost pubs in East London.
Attending numerous days of the Any Old Iron West Ham United elderly fans project:

Don with Fellow Geezers Charlie Wiggins and Ray Gipson in the pub on a day out with the Any Old Iron Elderly West Ham Supporters Project
Don with Fellow Geezers Charlie Wiggins and Ray Gipson in the pub on a day out with the Any Old Iron Elderly West Ham Supporters Project

Trips to The Olympic Park and attending West Ham United matches in the New London Stadium. One included a tour of the stadium and on the canal that runs alongside.

Don with fellow Geezers Ray Gipson, his son John and Grandson Jack and West Ham supporting friends, plus Geezers Ricky Ayliffe, Barrie Stradling and Brian Godfrey outside the New London/ Olympic Stadium before attending West Ham United v Fulham match
Don (right) with fellow Geezers Ray Gipson, his son John and Grandson Jack and West Ham supporting friends, plus Geezers Ricky Ayliffe, Barrie Stradling and Brian Godfrey outside the New London/ Olympic Stadium before attending West Ham United v Fulham match

He also attended two book launches of books about East End women by Kate Thompson:

Don Tomlin (left) with Kate Thompson at her book launch for 'Secrets Of The Homefront Girls' with fellow Geezers Ray Gipson and Barrie Stradling
Don Tomlin (left) with Kate Thompson at her book launch for ‘Secrets Of The Homefront Girls’ with fellow Geezers Ray Gipson and Barrie Stradling

Don attended trips to The Wellcome Foundation, the Royal Chelsea Hospital, the 100th Anniversary of the RAF boat trip, and all the seaside trips.

Don Tomlin (looking at the camera) with various members of The Geezers on several tables in the cafeteria of The Royal Hospital Chelsea
Don Tomlin (looking at the camera) with various members of The Geezers on several tables in the cafeteria of The Royal Hospital Chelsea

He was a very highly respected member of The Geezers, honest, trustworthy and very reliable.He was also actively involved in all aspects of the club including the social side of The Geezers, always being happy to attend.

Don Tomlin will be very sadly missed by all the club members, and anyone who he had any involvement with via The Geezers. We have lost a true friend and a Real Gentleman – RIP Don.
Update – view videos of funeral service here.

Don with all The Geezers at a Social Gathering in the Half Moon on Mile End Road
Don with all The Geezers at a Social Gathering in the Half Moon on Mile End Road
Don with fellow Geezers Barrie Stradling, Ray Gipson and Ricky Ayliffe at Dagenham Utd Blues Under 9s team Christmas Party used for their Christmas Card
Don with fellow Geezers Barrie Stradling, Ray Gipson and Ricky Ayliffe at Dagenham Utd Blues Under 9s team Christmas Party used for their Christmas Card

3 Comments

  1. What a lovely tribute. Don sounds like a true gentleman and I loved looking at all of the wonderful art projects, campaigns, day trips out, that he was involved in over the last few years. It is clear that The Geezers brought him a lot of joy! Rest in peace Don xx

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