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A COLOURFUL character on the Bury St Edmunds market, who could turn his hand to any trade – tributes have been paid to Tommy Bond this week.

Mr Bond, who was 70, collapsed in his wife Beryl’s arms after packing up after a day on the market on December 18.

One of his two sons, Adam, said: “He was a character, he had a personality, a glow about him. He was very approachable and because of his varied background, he was also very well known.”

Mr Bond father had been a travelling showman with the fairground as it toured around the region. During the winter months, the fairground workers lived in caravans at Ram Meadow and it was there, that Mr Bond was born.

Like his father Mr Bond spent the summer months touring with the fairground and the winter months in Bury where went to school, and then took on seasonal work carrying out fleet maintenance on council lorries, delivering coal for Ridley and Hooper on Station Hill, working as a baker in Abeyygate Street, a scaffolder, refuse collector and many more.

“He could turn his hand to absolutely anything,” said Adam. Everything was self taught.”

Mr Bond was only 21 when his own father passed away from the same heart condition that eventually claimed his own life. He then looked after his mother for the next 44 years until she died in 2005.

“We are a very close family.”

on December 18 – his funeral is to take place on Thursday at Bury cathedral at 11am – all are welcome.