RUBBING shoulders with the likes Sir Michael Caine was something that charitable Littlehampton man Tyndall Jones could never have dreamt of.
But that is precisely what happened when the humble 62-year-old was presented with the prestigious, Liberty of The Old Metropolitan Borough of Southwark, during a special awards evening in London, earlier this month.
Tyndall, the former owner of the David O. Jones sports shop, in High Street, was invited to the ceremony, which was attended by the double Oscar-winning film star, following his years of dedication, collecting more than £6,000 for good causes in the borough.
“I couldn’t believe it when I was invited to this awards ceremony. It came right out of the blue,” he admitted. “I had never even thought that there was an award for Southwark.
“Obviously, not coming from Southwark, I was surprised that I was even considered.”
However, Tyndall needn’t have been so shocked. He has been one of the ward’s dedicated collectors, at the New Year’s Day Parade, through London, since 1998.
Tyndall, who has also been a collector for the Littlehampton Bonfire Society, for about 35 years, regularly raises £100s for the Southwark Common Good Will Trust, a charity that helps to support homeless people in the borough.
He said: “I never anticipated being given an award for collecting for a good cause. I certainly don’t do it for the awards.
“But I have to admit, I’m elated to have been considered.”
Speaking about his secret of collecting such an impressive amount, each time he takes part in the New Year’s Day Parade, Tyndall said: “There isn’t one, really. I just try to do my best to collect what I can.
“I just keep shaking my bucket and, to be honest, they probably give me money to shut me up.
“But I go as far as I can to ask for donations. I don’t just stick to the parade route, I go into the crowds around Nelson’s Column, too.”
The ceremony, held at St George’s Cathedral, last Saturday (May 12), saw more than 300 people in attendance, with dozens collecting awards.
Sir Michael was presented with the Freedom of the Borough of Southwark Council, for his services to the area, as were local MPs, Harriet Harman and Simon Hughes.
Tyndall said: “Although I got to see Sir Michael, I couldn’t get an autograph from him.”