Social club award for lifelong community servant

Matlock Forum Club chairman Frank Beesley (right) presented the long-service award to Todd Dakin.
Matlock Forum Club chairman Frank Beesley (right) presented the long-service award to Todd Dakin.

A Matlock social club has presented a special award to a founding member and long-time community servant to mark his retirement.

Matlock Forum Club chairman Frank Beesley presented the award to Todd Dakin, 96, in recognition of his service since 1973.

Todd recently moved to Tansley Care Home, and left behind many decades of work with voluntary organisations throughout Matlock’s civic sector.

Frank said: “Todd was involved with Matlock Hospitals League of Friends, the Rotary Club and Royal British Legion for 50 years, and spent 30 years recording talking newspapers for the blind.

“He also served as a justice of the peace in Wirksworth for 25 years. I think he’s an inspiration to us all, and has had a fantastic impact.”

Todd was a nickname given by his father, whose family opened the first barber shop in the town in 1856.

It is taken from the story of Sweeney Todd, but there is nothing cut-throat about him.

Frank added: “Todd might be the most well-known man in Matlock, whether for selling poppies every year or his involvement in so many groups.

“He was always getting jobs of authority, but is the most gentle and friendly person you could meet. I’ve never known him to say a wrong word about anyone.”

Todd worked in the barber shop as a boy, and in his grandparents’ tobacconist near County Hall, before going on to train as a metallurgical chemist.

He married Edith Hole in 1942, but immediately travelled to India to join the war effort with the Royal Corps of Signals.

On his return, he resumed his engineering career with lead smelter HJ Enthoven & Sons.

He later helped establish the forum club to provide social opportunities for retired or semi-retired men.

Frank said: “We still meet every week at the Edgefold Club, and Todd would always be there on the front row.

“When you’ve been part of something for 44 years, you’re very much missed and he deserves this recognition for everything he’s done.”