Childhood Memories

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I’ve just received a cutting about Tony Tigwell or ‘Tiggy’, dated July 21 which was forwarded to me by my mother back in the UK.

I first came to know him as a child of about seven when he ran the adventure playground at the end of my street, Langdon Street, where I was born and raised.

It started off as nothing more than a block of land where the old houses had been knocked down surrounded by a small fence. I remember many changes over the years and I had a hand in helping to build the climbing frames, swings, dens and huts. One guy even had a small farm, with chickens and geese!

The whole project was down to the hard work and commitment of Tiggy and I know that he had a lot to do with my childhood memories: he gave us a place to run and play, build and dig, things that would make any safety conscious official of today cringe.

He twice arranged trips camping to Scotland, an opportunity that I would have never had, coming from a single parent family with no money to spare. We built flower boxes for every house in our area which were filled and fitted by Tiggy and his crew.

It was a sad day when they closed the playground.

I remember when he ran for councillor and we’d regularly bump in to each other around the Langdon Street area (I joined the Army at 17 so only came home to visit on leave). He always had time to chat and see how things were going.I remember him as a genuine person with concern for everyone and the area in which he lived.

I was also a pupil of Abbeydale Grange School from 1980 - 1984 so it’s sad to hear of its closure. I can only guess it’s down to money and the price of land in the area. As for Tiggy having to retire, most people cannot afford to retire or in Tiggy’s case I know he’d just love his job, helping others is what he did most.

I last saw Tiggy when I returned in July 2010. As my wife and I drove towards Bramall Lane I saw him crossing the road. We pulled over not expecting him to remember me, but he hadn’t forgotten me or my family.

I don’t think I’ll ever see Tiggy again, but I wish him well in his retirement and hope he keeps on doing what he does best by being an inspiration to others around him. I’ll always have happy memories of my childhood most of them down to the guidance, freedom, experiences that Tiggy and his crew gave me.

Stephen Melia, Brisbane