THE Mid Wales agricultural community is mourning the loss of much-loved character Tom Evans, who has died aged 80.

The farmer is revered for his extensive work in agricultural circles, including for the Young Farmers Club movement and the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (RWAS), and was well-known for his passion for the sector – receiving an MBE from King Charles (then Prince Charles) in 2020 for services to farming heritage.

Tom, from Beulah, near Builth Wells, was known as the ‘voice of Welsh shearing’, having commentated for nearly 40 years at the Royal Welsh Show and world championship shearing competitions across the world.

The sheep farmer’s autobiography, titled ‘Where the Hell’s the Time Gone: A Life in Farming’, was launched at the Royal Welsh Show earlier this year.


He died peacefully at home on Wednesday, December 13.

“After fighting until the very end, very sad to say grandad passed away peacefully this morning,” grandson Greg Langridge-Thomas wrote on Facebook last week.

“I’m not sure there are enough words to describe the enormity of the man. A true legend and inspiration. In his own words ‘no-one can say Tom Evans hasn’t lived’.”

Paying tribute to him, the RWAS said in a statement: “Tom made an enormous contribution to the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society.

“His first memory of attending the Royal Welsh Show was back in 1957 when the show was held in Aberystwyth. It was at that show where he saw Godfrey Bowen shearing a sheep within 45 seconds, when most Welsh shearers took two or three minutes.

“This started Tom’s fascination with shearing and he began commentating at the Royal Welsh Show in the early 80s. Tom had an iconic voice which was synonymous with Welsh shearing for over 40 years.

“He was instrumental in bringing the Golden Shears World Championship to Wales for the very first time at the 1994 Royal Welsh Show.

“He subsequently became team manager, leading the Welsh shearing and wool-handling team at the 2012 World Championships in New Zealand.

“Shearing was in Tom’s blood, having judged, stewarded and commentated at shearing competitions all over the UK and beyond. He was renowned worldwide within the shearing industry and received a recognition of service award from the British Isles Shearing Competitions Association (BISCA).

“At the 2015 Royal Welsh Show, Tom received a Points of Light award from former Prime Minister David Cameron, recognising his outstanding contribution to the community.

“Tom will be remembered as a wonderful ambassador for the industry and represented all that is good about rural Wales – a real character and much loved by all who knew him.”

County Times:  Tom Evans received his MBE from King Charles (then Prince Charles) in 2020. Tom Evans received his MBE from King Charles (then Prince Charles) in 2020. (Image: None)

His dedication to farming was recognised in the 2019 Queen’s Honours List where he was awarded an MBE.

That had followed the Points of Light award bestowed upon him in 2015 for his outstanding contribution to Welsh farming – although it came to light earlier this year that he had in fact not been given the award at the time.

Due to an oversight by then Prime Minister David Cameron’s team, there was no certificate inside an envelope he received.

In October, however, Tom was belatedly presented with his award by current PM Rishi Sunak.

Former RWAS chief executive Steve Hughson and Brecon and Radnor MP Fay Jones rectified the mistake, travelling to Tom’s home in Beulah, to present him with his certificate.

Tom’s funeral will be held on Friday, December 29, at 1pm, in Eglwys Oen Duw, Beulah. A wake will follow at the Montgomery Pavilion, at the Royal Welsh Showground.