Friends of Hastings Cemetery

Thomas Southall Dymond cont.

Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 12 March 1949

“The City Beautiful,’’ Mayor of Hastings, 1926-1927 and one the most prominent citizens of the borough, Mr. Thomas Southall Dymond, of 14 Albany-road, St. Leonards, died on Wednesday.  He was 88. Second son of the late Mr. George Dymond, Birmingham, Mr. Dymond was elected to the Hastings Town Council to represent St. Mary Magdalen Ward in November, 1923. He was appointed to the aldermanic bench in 1931, re-elected in 1937 and retired in 1945.

His term of office as Mayor was one the most eventful in the history of the borough. The outstanding occasion was the visit of the Prince of Wales April 6, 1927, who… opened the White Rock Pavilion. Here the Mayor, who played his part in the memorable happenings with great dignity and eloquence, gave Hastings its City Beautiful ideal.  One of Mr. Dymond’s last public appearances was at the Pavilion’s 21st birthday celebrations last year when he recalled the opening ceremony and other early events of the history of the building.

Another notable occasion of his Mayoralty was a general meeting of the Cinque Ports Courts of Brotherhood and Guestling, held at the Pavilion in October, with Mr. Dymond, as Speaker for that year, in the chair. Important Anglo-Norman celebrations also took place during his year in office and the visit of the American cruiser, ‘Detroit’, flagship of Admiral Burrage, of the United States Navy, was another pleasant event.

The opening of the White Rock Pavilion made it possible for Hastings to entertain large conferences, and in July the Mayor welcomed some 1,300 delegates, associates and members of the Royal Sanitary Institute.  Several other conferences took place during the year, which also saw the inauguration of intermunicipal visiting.

Mr. Dymond recorded the chief events of his Mayoralty in an interesting book which he wrote under the title of “Memoirs of a Mayor Hastings.”

EDUCATION WORK Appointed chairman of the Improvements Committee of the Council in1927, he was associated with many of the most important development schemes carried out by the Borough Engineer (Mr. S. Little), including the Bathing Pool.  He became chairman of the committee controlling the management of the pool upon its opening in June, 1933.  He was also chairman of many other committees, taking especial interest in town planning work.

A former H.M. Inspector of Public Elementary Schools in the counties of Northampton, Bedford and Huntingdon, Mr. Dymond acted as examiner in connection with the local Education Committee’s written examination for scholarships in May, 1923, and was appointed a member of the Education Committee in November the same year, serving until October, 1945.  He was a member the Secondary Education (later Higher) Sub-Committee from 1923 - 1945 and chairman or vice-chairman during the years to 1934.  In the year 1941-42 he was chairman the Education Committee.  He also served on various other sub-committees and bis experience and knowledge were of the utmost value.  He was associated with the work of the first local Juvenile Organisations Committee.

LOVER OF BEAUTY Always kind and courteous, Mr. Dymond combined idealism with considerable business ability and great commonsense.  In his younger days he had travelled extensively and was a fluent and vivid lecturer.  A great lover of natural beauty, he was keenly interested in the preservation of the Fire Hills and in the development of the town’s beauty spots, notably Old Roar and the cliff walks from Fairlight to the Fire Hills. He was a valued member and vice-president of the Natural History Society and a member of the Museum Association.

His opinions were always highly regarded in these circles.  He was also a member of the Twenty Club and was president of the Hastings National Savings Committee up to the time of his death.  A devoted churchman, Mr. Dymond attended Christ Church, St. Leonards, for very many years. He was appointed people's warden in 1928 and after a lapse of five years was reappointed in 1941.

Remaining in Hastings throughout the war years, he rendered signal service to the church during those difficult days.  He was a liberal supporter all good causes and gave unstintingly to home mission work in connection with Christ Church.  His wife, the late Mrs. Isabel Emily was the first Mayoress of Hastings to have a chain of office.  It was presented to her by a friend whose father had been Sheriff of London and who possessed three strands of his gold chain.  A number of ladies joined in providing a small replica of the Mayoral badge.

The funeral takes place today (Saturday), with a service at Christ Church at 10.15 a.m., followed by cremation. The ashes will be interred later at the Borough Cemetery.