(By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: January 11, 2016)
FORMER Scunthorpe borough councillor Allen Gittens has died at the age of 86.
Father-of-two Mr Gittens worked on the Tata Steel works in Scunthorpe – then the British Steel Corporation – as an assistant engineer before he retired.
He stood as a Conservative candidate in the Lincoln Gardens ward in the 1978 local council elections, but later defected to the then-fledgling SDP party.
But Mr Gittens was best known as a community leader.
He was a founder member of the Scunthorpe Anchor Swimming Club and at one time helped to run the Scunthorpe Steelers American Football team.
He was also a governor at the town’s Brumby Comprehensive School – now Outwood Academy Brumby.
Paying tribute, Shay Eddy, a former player-coach with the Scunthorpe Steelers, said: “Allen was a well-loved member of the Steelers family throughout the late-1980s.
“His enthusiasm and zest for life saw him helping out behind the scenes and on the sidelines.
“He worked well with head coach Robin Burton and was instrumental in attracting coach Antimarino to help out at the club.
“He was at that great victory away at Aberdeen and ended up celebrating in the freezing sea.
“My family thought the world of him and his wife Doreen. We will always remember him smiling and shouting encouragement from the sidelines.”
A further tribute came from former Scunthorpe mayor and council leader Cyril Nottingham who said: “It is sad to hear of Allen Gittens’ passing.
“During the years I worked with Allen he was a great supporter of the swimming clubs. He believed by getting on the council he could help more people.
“Like many of us, his disappointment was with the council and that it worked very slowly.
“In the end, Allen decided to go back to charity work. His wife Doreen backed him to the hilt.
“Allen was always cheerful and always found something good to say about people.
“Otherwise he was silent. As those who remember him as a councillor, which was many years ago, he took his work very seriously, but found it hard with the council to get things done that he would have liked for the people. He will be missed.”
Scunthorpe is a town in North Lincolnshire, England. It is the administrative centre of the North Lincolnshire unitary authority, and had an estimated total resident population of 72,514 people in 2010. A predominantly industrial town, Scunthorpe, the United Kingdom’s largest steel processing centre, is also known as the “Industrial Garden Town”. It is the third largest settlement in Lincolnshire after Lincoln and Grimsby.