Mayor’s Sunday at Eye 1913: Sir Thomas Tacon in his Bianchi Tourer

 

The story of a chauffeur by his son, the late Eric Dennis King, written in 1990. Edited by Christine Tacon 2024.

 

 
Alfred King, born in 1891, had many tales from his 35 years working as a chauffeur at the very early stages of motoring in both Norwich, working for the Bishop, and in Eye, for the Tacon family. The chauffeur was also the mechanic, navigator, finder of fuel and occasional mind-reader. His story has been charmingly retold by his son Eric, who was himself a local historian and includes his life as a child during the war in the villages of Brome and Oakley.
Both Eric and his father were acutely aware of the duty of confidentiality Alfred had in his role. Alfred knew so much about the lives of his employers, including the relationship between his boss and a local vicar. Eric stipulated that his work could not be published until after his death, which was in January 2022.
This is also the tale of a stately home, Brome Hall, built like a palace with the proceeds of the fall of Calais, which led to the owner being put in the Tower of London, through to its requisition during WWII and finally its demolition. Just two families owned the Hall for 400 years before the Tacons.
And it is the story of a car, a Bianchi Tourer built in 1910, which has remained in the Tacon family ever since.