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TIGGY

 A most unusual former resident of Summerhill Road

 

We are indebted to former resident Ann Carter, formerly of number 40 Summerhill Road, for reminding us of the exploits of ’TIGGY’ a large sow Pig who was very popular with the children and residents of Summerhill Road back in the Mid 1950’s.
Ann, along with her mother Rose and sister Margaret, lived at ‘Swiss Cottage’ the small house that was situated alongside the former piggery in Summerhill Road. These premises for many years had functioned as a Dairy and therefore had facilities for handling livestock. In the post war years it was converted for use as a piggery and used to fatten up the pigs prior to slaughter. All of this work was under the supervision of the stockman, Jack Chapman, who had adopted ‘TIGGY’ as a pet and would often be seen leading her tethered to a rope and directed by his trusty stick for a walk along Summerhill Road much to the joy and amusement of the children. ‘TIGGY’ was also to have several litters of piglets over these years and again this gave much pleasure to the children

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1871 CENSUS – Lydia Archer

The census report shows that Lydia Archer operated the premises as a Dairy. The subsequent Census reports from 1881 through to 1911 show the continued use of the premises as a Dairy.
By 1891 the Dairy was operated by an Arthur Ousell, in 1901 by a William Brett and in 1911 by a John Jones.
All with the occupation as Dairyman.

Ann and her sister Margaret are planning to write a piece for the website because theirs was a very unusual childhood for an inner-city child. There were many occasions when they would have to get up in the night to separate a pig off (a dead pig was worthless) because it had been mixed in accidentally, pigs apparently are very tribal. Or the occasion when the land girls came to strip the straw off the roofs of the sty's and rats were running everywhere. These are just 2 stories that Ann has shared with us and she thanks us for bringing back the memories
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TIGGY - Note the telephone number on the vehicle at the back

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A Portrait of 'TIGGY'

I spoke with my sister Christine a few days ago and reminded her of ‘TIGGY’. She was so excited to hear some of the memories and she recalled Jack Chapman allowing Pat Livemore and herself to feed the pigs one day but Pat Livemore panicked and fell over in the process. Apparently the pair of them went running towards the little door that opened within the main gates and Chris bumped her head badly against the top of the door. She couldn't stop laughing as she was recalling the incident. She also spoke fondly of all the games that we played on the wide frontage outside the piggery.
As many of the older residents past and present will recall
Tiggy' was famous well before 'Twiggy' and carried considerably more weight

We have recently been contacted by Fred Hardy, a former resident of Summerhill Road now living in the USA. Fred has shared with me an amusing story about Tiggy:

I have just read the article “ Tiggy” a most unusual resident of Summerhill Road”, from Margaret Carter. It sparked a memory.

If my memory is not playing tricks on me I think the incident was as follows:

Mr. Jack Chapman, the pig keeper, at one time bought a dog. It was a Welsh collie. Undoubtably Jack was impressed by the dogs ability to follow commands and herd sheep, and I presume pigs as well.

One day a truck load of pigs arrived at number 40 Summerhill Road (The Piggery) and as usual all the children playing in the street at that moment gathered around the truck, fascinated by the squealing and noise of the pigs being coached down the ramp from the truck.

On that day my mother happened to be present and after unloading the pigs she had a chat with Jack. She commented on Jack’s (new) dog. Well, Jack said, that’s about the most useless dog I have ever encountered. How come, asked my mother. Well, Jack said, I purchased it from a Welsh sheep farmer who told me it would be very suitable for herding pigs as well as sheep. But all the dog does is just sit there and look at me.


My mother laughed and said Jack, the dog only understands commands in Welsh. My mother, being Welsh, gave a few commands to the dog in Welsh and the dog reacted immediately. Needless to say, Jack then received a brief lesson in Welsh commands.



Prepared by Alan Swain - August 2010

Updated April 2020 - Fred Hardy's recollections of Tiggy.

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