Mr Thomas Peake Smith known to most Burton Latimer people as Tommy, who earned the distinction several years ago of being the only blacksmith in the area to have shod a pair of oxen, died at his home, 67 Church Street, on Monday. He was 73 and had been ill for only a week.
Tommy was the village blacksmith for early half a century, and came of a long line of blacksmiths and boiler-makers. It was nearly 30 years ago that he took on the difficult job of shoeing the cloven hooves of oxen.
The beast came to Burton Latimer drawing an old covered wagon in an advertising stunt for beef suet.
No other blacksmith in the area would take on the job of shoeing them, so Tommy tried his hand and attracted a large crowd who regarded the affair as a treat.
Tommy earned distinction also for his success at a job completely different form his trade making an ointment which was acclaimed a cure for anything from dogs’ skin ailment to chilblains.
When Mr, Smith gave up his job as village blacksmith about ten years ago, he went to work at Cransley Furnaces, Loddington, and later at Messrs. G. Lewis and Sons Ltd., Agricultural Engineers, Kettering where he was employed until he was taken ill. Mr. Smith, who was 73, came of a long line of blacksmiths and boilermakers. He had recently retired.
He leaves a widow, Mrs. Dinah Smith, three daughters, one son and two grandchildren.
The funeral is on Friday at Burton Latimer Parish Church.