President of the Scottish Licensed Trade.
Mr Tom Flynn.
A man of several unique distinctions in the Licensed Trade.
The Day Tom Flynn reported the King for not signing in…
The temperance Poll legislation in Scotland has now come to an unlamented end. One of those to whom credit is due for bringing about that happy result is Mr. Thomas F. Flynn, who since the post-war period has been one of the main personalities to campaign against the Temperance (Scotland) Act.
Tom Flynn, for long associated with the trade in Glasgow, enthusiastically entered into the fight against veto and in 1966 became chairman of the Scottish Licensed Trade Veto Defence Fund, of which he is now an honorary president.
On taking office, he decided that they should go into the attack rather than playing veto on a “very low key” and that a vigorous campaign should be launched aimed at getting rid of the local veto Act altogether. Allowing to choose his own team, he selected Mr. Jack Gow and Mr. Jimmy Ross as senior and junior vice-chairmen respectively. He believes the vigorous campaign they waged helped in persuading the Government to look at the whole of the Scottish Licensing Laws.
“My father (the late Mr. James Flynn) was a founder member of the Veto Fund in Glasgow. I did my little bit. And my elder daughter, Mary, has been working at the Veto Defence Fund offices in Edinburgh with Gordon Whyte, the secretary.”
Tom Flynn has held office as president of the Scottish Licensed trade Association and the Glasgow and District Licensed Trade Defence Association (now the Strathclyde Association). He is, in fact, a man of several unique trade distinctions.
He is the only honorary president of both the Veto defence Fund and of the S.L.T.A. With the passing of veto, that distinction can no longer be shared by any other person.
A young Mr. Thomas F. Flynn.
He is the only person since the war to have been both chairman of the Veto Defence Fund and president of the S.L.T.A., and is the only member of the Glasgow Vintners’ to have had both these positions.
He is the only person to have been elected chairman of the Veto Defence Fund when not serving on its Executive Committee.
He is the only Scot to have been chairman of the National Conservative Council of the Retail Liquor Trade, which covers the whole of the United Kingdom.
He is the only Scot to have led a United Kingdom delegation of the licensed trade, this having been to the Roskill Committee in 1967 which checked up on brewery control in licensed premises.
In addition, he was chairman of the Veto Defence Fund on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee and president of the Glasgow Association in its centenary year.
His family have been associated with the trade in Glasgow for more than 100 years, their first premises were in Preston Street, now Dunn Street, Bridgeton, Tom and his brother John having followed their father, James, and grandfather, Francis. Tom now holds the licence for the Railway Inn, Howwood, while his brother has for long been installed at the Allison Arms, Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow.
If Tom Flynn has made his mark in the trade, he has also done so in amateur dramatic circles and as a writer of articles.
Amateur dramatics has long been a hobby and he has produced shows in Scotland and England, some of them at the Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow. He also took part in a “Francie and Josie” show with Rikki Fulton and Jack Milroy… till someone found he hadn’t an equity card! He has also played with Rutherglen Repertory, and last year produced a play for them, “Here We Come Gathering.”
A few months ago he produced a St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow, a show in recognition of the canonization of St. Ogilvie, this being a pageant of which the main part involved a play called “The Road to Glasgow.”
In an eventful service career serving with the Royal Corps of Signals in the famous 51st (Highlanders Revision), he was mentioned in despatches for “gallant and distinguished service.” And he recalls with a smile the time when, as a lance-corporal, he put the King on a report to be duly charged.
Mr Thomas F. Flynn. 1970s.
He was serving with the R.C.S. at Brigade H.Q. in Surrey when King George VI arrived one day. The time of arrival was duly noted by Tom, who happened to be in charge of the signals office. As the King was in the uniform of a field-marshal, he was covered by military regulations, but he neither reported to the signals office nor signed the register.
“So I put on a report to be duly charged for neglect of military duty,” says Tom. Naturally, there was consternation, and corporal Tom was told by the brigade major: “You can’t put the King on a charge.” Replied Tom; “But if I hadn’t done so, I myself could have been put on a charge!”
The affair was eventually smoothed over.
But the story is a good one to add to the many military experiences that Tom may write in a book one day. “Perhaps when I retire, if ever I do,” he says.
Tom Flynn by coia.