Tributes to ‘Buggy Tam’

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FRIENDS and neighbours today paid tribute to a pensioner whose death at his sheltered housing complex remains unexplained three days after his body was found.

Thomas Sharp, 67, was found lying in the grounds of Gillespie Lodge, a sheltered housing complex at Gillespie Place in Bruntsfield, in the early hours of Sunday morning and police are still treating his death as unexplained.

Mr Sharp was a regular at the International Bar in Brougham Place and The Auld Toll in Leven Street, where he was known as Buggy Tam.

Angus Yeaman, a retired director of Scottish Newcastle, met Mr Sharp at the Auld Toll.

He said: “Tam was a real gentleman. He started coming here when he moved in to the sheltered housing complex.

“We all knew him here as Buggy Tam, because he always came down here on his scooter.

“He was very pleasant, very friendly and we could chat about almost anything. It gave me a bit of a shock when I was told he had been found.

“We honestly don’t know what happened – it’s very sad.”

It is understood Mr Sharp’s body was found after a neighbour got up in the night and saw his scooter lying in the middle of the road.

Mustapha Lakhlih, 69, a retired caterer who lives in the same block as Mr Sharp, said: “He was a really nice man. The day before he passed away, he met my wife and was asking her about my health and how I was.

“He told my wife I could have his spare scooter if I needed it.

“It shows the kind of guy he was.”

Betty Prosser, 84, who also lives at Gillespie Lodge, said: “I got a real shock when I heard.

“He was an awfully nice person.

“I don’t know what happened to him – I just heard that he had fallen in the road.

“I’m really sorry about it – he had a wonderful character, always so pleasant.

“He went down to the pub a lot, maybe for company.

“Even though he was on crutches, he offered to take my bins out for me.

“He would get out of his buggy and do anything for you.”

A spokesman for Viewpoint Housing Association, which runs Gillespie Lodge, described him as “an independent gentleman who regularly went out and about using a mobility scooter”, adding that he died in the grounds of the complex after returning late on Saturday night.

He said: “Sadly he died before he could make it into the building or his flat.

“The police are investigating the incident and have confirmed that there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.”

A Lothian and Borders police spokesman said: “Enquiries are ongoing to determine the circumstances surrounding the death, which is currently being treated as unexplained.”