Researched by Bill Ricalton
Many stories have been told over the years about "Aad Tom Parcivil" he was a man of prodigious strength which he demonstrated many times. Tom became a legend within the village as he went from one feat of strength to the next.
He was a mole catcher, among other activities. He had been away at Embleton on the coast, catching moles and returned home on the Saturday after his weeks work when he realised he had left his gold watch at his lodgings, promptly turned around and walked all the way back too collect it!
He, on one occasion, rode his bicycle down the hill towards Weldon Bridge with his head through the rungs of the twenty-two rung ladder, which was balanced on his shoulders.
He carried the blacksmith anvil around the village green for a wager, for another bet, he tried to lift himself up in two buckets, only managing to pull the handles off both of them.
Thomas lived in a time before mechanical reapers, when hay cutting was done by hand, using a scythe. It was said that Thomas could cut a swathe 8 feet wide. One story, widely reported, that commissioned to cut an eight-acre field of hay at Field Head Farm, he started in the early morning and when he finished in the evening all the hay was cut.
Although many of Tom Percival's exploits were witnessed, some were not. Such as a story he himself related one night, to the assembled patrons of Fred Gibson in the Rose and Thistle. He told how he went into a field to catch moles and on seeing him arrive a big dog mole, "sat upon its hint legs and shouted," "teh yer holes moles here comes aad Tom Par'civil." On another occasion he boasted about his family tree, "Ye kna yon Hadrian, him that built the waal? Aye wee'l he married eh Par'civil"