‘His legacy is tarnished’: Neighbours of Captain Tom’s daughter blast family for illegal spa as demolition work starts

30 January 2024, 17:51 | Updated: 30 January 2024, 20:12

Captain Tom raised £39m for the NHS during the Covid pandemic
Captain Tom raised £39m for the NHS during the Covid pandemic. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Marston Moretaine, a quiet, sleepy Bedfordshire village has always been proud to have been home to Captain Tom Moore, who raised millions of pounds for the NHS during the pandemic.

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The war hero did so primarily by walking 100 lengths of his garden at his home there, where a blue post box was installed to celebrate his 100 birthday in 2020.

It was not until after Captain Tom's death that his legacy came under threat due to the actions of his family.

His daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore spent months engulfed in a fight over the building of an unauthorised spa and pool complex, and has faced fury for pocketing £800,000 in cash from the sale of Captain Tom's books.

Demolition experts have finally arrived at Hannah Ingram-Moore's home to start knocking down the family's spa.

The renewed focus on Marston Moretaine, a typically sleepy village in Middle England, was an "embarrassment", residents previously told LBC, particularly as it threatens to tarnish Captain Tom's lockdown legacy.

But locals have insisted they will refuse to let the negative attention affect their village, telling LBC: "It's a reflection on her, not us."

Local carpenter Ian Burtenshaw told LBC: “It's completely out of order the way they changed the building in the first place, it’s only right it gets taken down.

“It’s tarnishing her father’s name, all the charitable work that he did during Covid…but it’s not negatively impacting the village, it’s a reflection on her, not us.”

He went on: “We’re in the heart of Bedfordshire, I’d encourage anyone in driving distance to pop down.”

Hannah Ingram-Moore
Hannah Ingram-Moore. Picture: Alamy
Demolition on the Captain Tom spa began earlier today
Demolition on the Captain Tom spa began earlier today. Picture: Alamy

Jeff, another local businessman, agrees, and told LBC that he hopes the village will figure out a way to commemorate in the village in addition to the already-existing post box - possibly even with a statue.

“It's more on [Ingram-Moore]...they've lost all the trust," he told LBC.

“He raised the money for charity purposes... it's him that has given the village the name but there's no doubt it has been tarnished a bit.

"It's gone the other way because of what she has done...the village needs something that recognises him, not them."

Read More: Demolition experts arrive at Captain Tom's daughter's home to start knocking down illegal spa

Read More: Captain Tom's daughter has turned our village into a laughing stock, say neighbours in the picturesque countryside

Why is Captain Tom's daughter's spa so controversial?

British veteran Captain Tom Moore thumbs up and smiles in Bedfordshire
British veteran Captain Tom Moore thumbs up and smiles in Bedfordshire. Picture: Alamy

In 2022, the Charity Commission announced it was reviewing the accounts of the Captain Tom Foundation.

They found £160,000 was given to charities in the Foundation’s first year. But more than £162,000 had been paid in management costs over the same 12 months.

The investigation was launched after the charity paid more than £50,000 to companies run by Captain Tom’s youngest daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband Colin, who were both trustees of the charity.

Hannah resigned six weeks after the investigation.

After the Charity Commission investigation began, the Captain Tom Foundation stopped accepting donations.

Hannah and her husband had plans approved to construct a Captain Tom Foundation Building in the garden of their £1.2milllion Bedfordshire home for “charitable objectives.”

What actually appeared was a much larger structure than was authorised – and this included a kitchen and spa pool. It was ordered to be demolished.

But Hannah campaigned against this. She lost her appeal and planning inspectors ordered her to tear it it down.

Demolition experts at the Captain Tom spa earlier this morning
Demolition experts at the Captain Tom spa earlier this morning. Picture: Alamy

Hannah admitted she had kept the profits from the three books Captain Tom had written, estimated to be £800,000. 

“These were my father’s books, and it was honestly such a joy for him to write them, but they were his books,” she said.

Hannah claimed Sir Tom had “specifically” said that the profits should go to her business Club Nook and there was no suggestion any money from the sales would go to charity.

The same week, Hannah’s lawyer told reporters the Captain Tom Foundation was “it seems, is to be closed down following an investigation by the Charity Commission”.