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I will always fight for town
MOST of us try to do one good deed a day, but one community stalwart has been doing that, and more, for the past 20 years.
Alf Papworth truly is a veteran of Hadleigh, serving the community for decades and racking up a string of successes.
Now aged 80, he shows no sign of slowing down and says “I will keep fighting until there is no more fight left in me”.
Alf, of Ashdown Crescent, is still battling to get some traffic lights re-installed along St Michael’s Road, in Hadleigh, after a bus knocked them down more than ten years ago.
He has also successfully campaigned to have road calming measures installed outside Hadleigh Junior School, and is currently fighting to stop the development of a pub in John H Burrows Park.
He has gathered more than 1,000 signatures in opposition to the plans.
He said: “I remember one time the council hadn’t cut the grass in Ashdown Crescent and Sherwood Crescent and it came up to my waist. I wasn’t about to let that lie and the very next morning the council were cutting the grass – and it was only 7am.”
He added: “I started the Solby Estate Residents’ Association in 1999 and have been given a great deal of support since then. Our members are very dedicated and we won’t rest until we have justice for the people of Hadleigh.
“It took a while to get a crossing installed outside Hadleigh Junior School, but when I flagged it up in 2005, I didn’t let it lie and, in time, they put a lollipop lady there.
“She said the cars were still travelling too fast so we went back again. I love children and if I can help keep them safe, I am doing my part.”
Despite his community work, he has a number of medical conditions, including polymyalgia rheumatica, osteoperosis, spinal stenosis and cervical spondylosis.
He suffered life-changing injuries in 1988 when, working as an electrician, he slipped off a bandstand and trapped his leg, breaking two bones. He has walked on crutches ever since. In 2007, he had a heart attack and had three stents inserted.
Many would think Alf would have slowed down after that, but he said he will never stop, not while there are people to help.
He said: “I know I annoymy wife at times, but I can’t help it. My own grand-daughter calls me sicknote. I think all I have been through means I am more determined than ever to help people. It is what keeps me going.”
Alf has featured regularly in the Echo for his achievements and work in the community and says he keeps every cutting safe for the future.
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