Event report on the litter picking with the YMCA on Saturday 14 May 2011
Teresa Colliass, Chair of the Oxford Road NAG organized its latest litter-picking event with Steve Ritchie and staff of Reading YMCA, Parkside Road, who supplied the venue, workers and refreshments. Apart from members of the NAG and the YMCA, a Community Police Officer, local residents, Parkside Road Residents' Association, Council Officers and a Councillor (John Ennis, Southcote Ward) came to give a hand. A large contribution to the effort was made by the Community Payback team. Faber Thorndike of the Streetcare team at RBC provided equipment; litter tongs, gloves, brooms, shovels etc. and a refuse lorry to take away the rubbish.
The area that was cleaned covered Parkside Road and roads leading off it, Liebenrood Road, Southcote Road and Maldon Close. Most of the surface litter was cleaned up before the lunch that the YMCA provided; Kerry's famous soups; this time it was a choice of Leek and Potato or Stilton and Broccoli. Teresa's mum, Sue, as usual brought her sponge cake which rounded the meal off just right. It was substantial enough to set one up for the rest of the day. The afternoon's work concentrated on trimming the overgrown vegetation along Hollins Walk and Parkhouse Lane and removing the hundreds of cans and bottles that passers-by had dumped in the undergrowth; the Community Payback team had thoughtfully brought a motor mower which came in very handy to trim the grass.
The whole day went very pleasantly with the groups working well together and mixing in with friendly banter flying around; a real community event. It was a very enjoyable day all round; we met new people, widened our horizons and cleared away three quarters of a ton of rubbish!
Quotes of the day
Kris Jarvis, (who drove the refuse lorry) on being asked by someone to borrow his shovel: (joking!) "Sorry, this is a Council shovel, I need it to lean on."
Cllr John Ennis, while clearing rubbish along Liebenrood Road wearing a fluorescent jacket was asked by a passer-by "What did they get you for, drunk driving?" John replied "No, I am a local politician." "Oh, I see" said the man, convinced that justice was being done.
Event report by George, resident of Parkside Road