Thomas Griffin – only known to us who came lately to the village as a Patriarchal ageless figure, unique in the matter of expressing himself.
Solemn of face with a carefully trimmed beard, he took himself, and life in general, very seriously; and related his own experiences as if they bore directly on the Divine Guidance of the world as a whole.
“One we know, living not a hundred miles away” was his tactful way of referring to a near neighbour whose conduct he was discussing.
Rather than refer to his eldest daughter by name, he would speak of her as “my first born” and in telling the tale of some moving experiences in the lives of his children he would turn his earnest brown eyes sadly on one’s face, shake his head very slowly and remark in short clipt sentences “You are a mother – you will understand”.
His business was that of a Builder and Decorator and this was carved on at the Gable, an old house standing in the grounds where Burke’s school for French boys used to be carried on. His workmanship was above reproach and his workmen could be trusted. His statements of account were marvels of exactitude, accuracy and detail and were, I believe, written out by Alice Griffin, his first born.
He was held in the highest respect by all and at his going the village lost a unique figure who tho’ steeped in the history and gossip of Tylers Green and Penn yet knew how to keep his own counsel.
Note: Thomas Griffin was elected Churchwarden sixteen times from 1892.