Tom, whose father was a pioneering engineer, worked on his first Lathe at the very tender age of 7!
By the age of 12, he was workshop foreman for 10 other Engineers. When he was about 16 years old, Tom and a couple of mates sneaked into a Nottingham pub to try and get served an under aged pint. They followed the noise of music coming from upstairs and Tom got very surprised to see his art teacher up on stage blasting away on his trumpet, playing in a New Orleans jazz band. Tom was completely blown away by this first musical experience.
He then went home and listened to his Lp´s on some old record player and realized then, this was not anything like what he´d just heard in real life. And so the quest for the illusion began. Tom went to his machines and without even making a drawing, started making his first record player.
He did a few years in the army during the 2nd world war but the Officers had a hard time trying to get Tom to conform to their rules and regulations. After a few years, he was given permission to leave the Army which he gladly did and dived straight back into what he was born for – engineering.
In the early 1973, Tom started his own company– New Line Engineering and bought a building which was formerly a chapel. Here, on the outskirts of Nottingham, he started production of his first commercial record player – The Dais (They were named Image to begin with but there turned out to be some conflict with another brand name).
During the last years of Tom's life, he did solely research and development for his new company – Fletcher Audio.
This original Dais became an inspiration for other record player manufacturers and soon after its successful launch, a lot of Tom´s design ideas were being incorporated into their new models. One of the many things they didn´t realize however, was that even though Tom´s design was a floating chassis, he had designed it in such a way so that it could also work as a rigid chassis. Tom personally preferred the rigid set up but he gave the consumer a choice of what he/she liked the sound of best, floating or fixed.
In 1978, Tom moved premises and changed his company to a dedicated record player manufacturer. He knew by this time, this was all he wanted to do and named his new company Nottingham Analogue Engineering. The Omega Point, Tom´s next production model was born.
Soon after, The Mentor followed which was produced in several variations.
The Spacedeck was the model which really awakened the interest of analogue lovers worldwide and after a few years, it was being exported all over the world. This gave Tom a chance to concentrate more on research and development.
The HyperSpace with its massive alloy platter topped off with a solid graphite plate.
The InterSpace was developed as a new entry level player so more music enthusiasts could afford to listen to their beloved vinyl on one of Toms creations. The trouble here was though, Tom couldn´t resist improving this little deck so much that after a few years, it had come such a long way, he had to design new entry level model – The Horizon.
With its unique and quite remarkable plinth made out of an historical piece of Pitch Pine. The wood was originally 1 meter squared and several meters long. Tom sliced it up into pieces of about 20 x 20 x 2cm and then glued the slices back together again but gave them a slight twist through their center each time before machining it into its log shaped plinth thus giving the new “log” a spiraling effect. All this work was done with only one thing in mind – controlling the travel of resonances. Because of this limited supply of the right wood, there are not so many original Anna´s around.
What Tom actually did here was take the design of the pricey AnnaLog and scale it all down into the new entry level Horizon.
The Dais was reborn in 2004. Apart from its colossal gravity spun cast iron platter, there were many new features and details built into this – to become – reference model.
Tom somehow then found the time to design and build his flagship – The Decco
The AceSpace Deck
Then it was time to modernize the good old SpaceDeck. It got a new heavier platter, a weightier armbase satellite and motor housing base and became The AceSpaceDeck.
The 294 was designed to play with a 12” arm only and was sold as a “kit” including arm. It was Toms last design before moving away from the old models of Nottingham Analogue and on to Fletcher Audio.