Tributes to the much loved ‘Tam the Hat’

Tom Arthur
Tom Arthur

Kirkcaldy lost one of its true characters on Saturday with the sudden death of Tom Arthur - Tam The Hat, drummer with The Columbos.

Tributes have poured in for the 65-year old who was a familiar sight on his push bike around the town.

Always with his trademark black hat and jacket, he was universally loved by all.

Dozens of messages have been posted on the band’s Facebook page, paying tribute to his good humour, and recalling many of their great gigs at local venues.

Tam hailed from Coatbridge, and his journey to Kirkcaldy took him via London.

Willie Young, his band mate and lifelong friend, recalled: ‘‘We grew up in Coatbridge but came here to go to the dance halls.

‘‘About eight of us would pile into two cars and head through to places like the YM, and five of us ended up marrying Fife lassies.

‘‘Tam went to London where he met his wife Lise. They came back to Coatbridge, but because his friends were all in Kirkcaldy they then moved here.

‘‘I knew him from before primary school days, and we ended up living next door to each other in Sang Road.’’

An electrician by trade, Tam became one of the most recognisable characters in town thanks to his push bike, black jacket and ever-present hat.

The Harbour Bar was his watering hole of choice, and when it came to pub quizzes his encyclopaedic knowledge of music was much in demand!

His love of music also saw him provide the beat for The Columbos from day one.

The band formed in 2009 and quickly gained a strong following.

Willie said: ‘‘We rehearsed in the back room at The Feuars and it went on from there.

‘‘‘Someone asked us to play at a birthday party and that was it - it took off.

‘‘We started gigging and couldn’t believe how popular the band became. I can honestly say, hand on heart, Tam was at his happiest when playing his drums with the band.

‘‘He was a big part of The Columbos and it will never be the same without him, but we will go on.

‘‘The tributes that have been paid to Tam have been incredible.’’

Tam is survived by Lise and their son Erik.

Willie said in accordance with his wishes there would be no funeral.

The band is looking at staging a tribute gig in due course.