Locals in Bolton have been raising funds to carry out repair works to a bench after it was damaged in a road traffic collision.
This isn’t just any ordinary bench though.
What makes this bench – affectionately known as ‘Tommy’s Bench’ – so special, is that it’s often sat on by Bolton’s very own ‘waving man’.
Tommy Halliday has been sitting on the bench – which is found on the junction of Smithills Dean Road and Scout Road in the Greater Manchester borough of Bolton – for the past four years after his wife sadly passed away, and can often be found smiling and waving at those passing by.
The beloved community figure is often credited with “bringing a smile to people’s faces” at all times of the day.
And it was this joy that prompted locals to set up an online fundraiser via JustGiving in his name with the kind-hearted intention of buying Tommy a Christmas present “to show him how much we all support and appreciate what he does”.
Wahid Khan, who set up the fundraiser, said: “Tommy is a Bolton legend.”
“He is on the bench seven days a week come rain or shine. Every morning on the way to work, I always see Tommy sat on the bench.”
“I do not think he knows how much Bolton appreciates him.”
He continued: “With everything that’s going on in the world, it would be great to buy him a Christmas present.” and it was clear that the people of Bolton shared in this wish, as the fundraiser quickly went on to raise hundreds of pounds towards a gift for Tommy, however on Tuesday, in an un-expected event, the bench was destroyed in a road traffic collision.
This is when the community really rallied around.
Mr Khan encouraged those who had a few pounds to spare to donate towards helping to repair / replace the bench, and within the same day, the bench had been repaired and bolted-down by the Bolton Impact Trust, with the addition of a new plaque honouring ‘Tommy’s bench’.
Writing in an update on the JustGiving page, Mr Khan said: “Just got the news that the amazing kids from the construction team at Bolton Impact Trust have managed to repair the old bench and it’s just waiting to be cemented before the plaques go on.
“Money raised will go towards a much-needed shelter and Christmas present.
“I absolutely love our community – this is brilliant”.
The JustGiving page for ‘Our Tommy’ has now raised over £1,995 towards Tommy’s Christmas present fund and you can donate here.