13 Sept 2009
BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES
photo shows The Avenue looking west before the volunteers went to
work and the second photo after the work had been completed.
AROUND a dozen people signed up to George Jolley’s WETS team on Sunday morning to tackle The Avenue’s litter problem in the centre of the town.
famous and ancient footpath cum cycleway needed quite a lot of TLC so
George had placed an ad in the Warminster Journal to drum up support.
It seemed to work.
“I think we have achieve a great deal today and it has possibly been our best morning’s work
so far,” said ex-railwayman George.
“I’m particularly pleased that we were able to help the MS centre out by mowing their grass which had become very overgrown.”
well as grass the team tackled undergrowth along the sides of The
Avenue by cutting back or removing a large amount of brambles and other
unwanted, unsightly weed growth.
had the permission of the owners to tackle the worst affected areas and
now plans to use part of its town council grant to buy 10 kg of bulbs
that will be on special offer on Thursday for just £8.
particularly pleased that the team was able to make such a difference
to The Avenue as it is such an important artery for pedestrians and
cyclists and for those using the railway station,” said Steve Dancey
“It makes a very poor impression when it is the first area seen by a new visitor.
large areas of undergrowth made it all to easy for people to toss away
rubbish but now their actions will be clearly visible - not that that
fact will deter some though.”
VisionforWarminster has carried out a number of litter pick in the area
but the rubbish re-appeared almost as quickly as it was taken away.
future WETS will be meeting on the second Sunday of every month and the
next likely project will be The River Were running along the edge of
the Grovelands estate on the west of the town.
above: George used to play rugby for Weymouth in his youth but rather
fittingly the team liberated this Gilbert rubgy ball from the
undergrowth on the same weekend that the rugby club opened their new
clubhouse. The ball is of the same type used in the world cup.
Latest 26 July
The team resumed its work on the Primrose Walk footpath and completed another significant section.
A third week of shovelling and shifting should see this job finished.
we we were joined by litter campaigner Heather Vine who took a photo
of members of the team near the end of their exertions.
It is being sent to the Journal for possible publication.
Latest 19 July
MEMBERS of George Jolley’s WETS environmental team tackled their biggest job to date - Primrose Walk.
The footpath links Weymouth Street and Sambourne and
needed a lot of TLC.
was significant weed growth across much of the pathway and a large
amount of soil had slipped down the bank along most of the length
making it difficult for some people, especially the visually impaired,
to use the path in safety.
volunteers, including a Copheap Lane couple with a small trailer,
managed to clear away soil and undergrowth from about the first 60
yards at the eastern end of the path.
was fairly hard work with several barrow loads of soil to be cleared
away so there remains quite a length still to be tackled,” said Steve.
“The plan is to return to the area next Sunday to finish the job - weather permitting.”
you would like to help clean up the town meet in Weymouth Street at
10am and enjoy a couple of hours of manual labour and work up a good
appetite. Bring your own shovel!
surprise was the almost total lack of litter - though there is some at
the western end of the path which is still to be clearer.
Pictured: The newly cleared footpath.
LATEST 28 June
Sunday’s morning of activity by Goerge Jolley’s WETS team concentrated
on the Avenue - an area where Vision for Warminster has carried out
three previous litter picks.
with brooms and shovels a group of 10 people swept, scraped and hoed
away at the rubbish and build-up of grime along this important
Many hands make light work and after an hour or so of toil the Avenue was looking a good deal better for all the attention.
this the team broke into two groups with Chris March and Steve Dancey
joining George at the Town Hall to keep abreast of the mess created by
the pigeon community.
think if there is some cleaning up carried out on a regular basis it is
possible to keep on top of the worst of the problems caused by the
birds in this locality,” said Steve.
other group tackled the walkway at the side of the old Woolworths and
had their work cut out with a significant amount of weed growth.
Sunday the team will be needing their Wellington boots as the plan is
the clear some of the weed and anything else from the Swan River (or
River Were) which runs through the park.
“We’re called the WETS so it will give us an opportunity to get a little wet,” said George.
With a heat wave predicted this week it could prove to be a popular assignment.
WARMINSTER Town Hall was given a much needed dose of TLC
on 7 June when a team of volunteers led by retired railwayman George Jolley (pictured) toiled to put the building back on track looks wise.
the years the public face of the building had been allowed to become
very drab with windows covered in grime and a general build up of grime.
closer inspection things were worse as a heavy soiling caused by pigeon
excrement meant that some areas were nothing short of disgusting.
hit area was the gated entranceway to the historic building which in
recent years has been claimed by the pigeons as their own.
But the workers started their efforts just after 7.30am and before long things started to change.
George and his son were joined by a specialist window cleaner from Vicarage Street, cllr Chris March (pictured right) from
the town council, Steve Dancey from VFW another member of the public
and most importantly three volunteers from Wiltshire Fire Brigade led
by Chris Trimby (Pictured below). (Paul Macdonald was
visiting his daughter in hospital)
first job involved removing as much of the dung from the front of the
building and from a variety of nooks and crannies, then bagging it up,
then brushing up window sills before the fire brigade used their
powerful water house to effectively wash away any remains.
think we have made a real difference,” said George, who wants to set up
a group called Warminster Environmental Team Services. (WETS)
this padlocks were put onto the former toilet block to stop the area
becoming a dumping ground and - best bit - was when a strip of one inch
screws were laid on one of the pigeons favourite roosting places with a
view to stopping them use the area.
took a look about an a hour after they were put in and its seems to
have worked - so there shouldn’t be quite so much mess building up
quite so quickly in the entrance way,” said Steve.
was very pleased to play my small part in the clean up which is very
welcome and will make a big difference to the look of the town if
addresses the short term problem but something will ultimately need to
be sorted out in the long term to give this much loved building a
can’t be pulled down, must be maintained but I feel that the cost of
the building would outstrip any profit a private user might make.
there is one firm, Prezzo PLC, which specialises in opening restaurants
in buildings such as this, it may well be that Warminster doesn’t have
enough people to warrant their interest.”
Pictured: The team survey the achievement after a couple of hours on the job.
Sunday 14 June
This week the focus of the clean up in Warminster moved to East Street where there are a number of long-standing problems.
But they don’t seem to have daunted George Jolley. “Sydenhams have very kindly donated eight tins of paint and
fortunately the colours seem to match up with those already in the area,” said George, (pictured at an empty shop).
“We are painting this property, washing down windows and weeding along the street to tidy things up.
“Hopefully it is going to encourage other people to have a go themselves.”
Pictured right - Chris Montagu weeds along by Yarde House.
After the work on East Steet the team moved back to the Town Hall where the pigeons have be busy again.
next clean up will take place on 28 June when the main area to get some
attention will be the Avenue - one of the town’s litter hotspots.
Pictured left Paul Jolley smartens up one property with a lick of paint.
(VFW has already carried out four litter picks in The Avenue and collected in excess of 300 items of litter).
Can litter be beaten ?
It can and in some places has been - but it takes imagination and will and a
sense of outrage clearly not felt by those currently in
charge of our town.
Clearly they don’t
care or otherwise something would have been done by now as these people
have been in charge for a long time now.
Success elsewhere has
involved a programme of information, education and enforcement and also
providing proper bins that people want to use. Signs that shame those
spitting out gum and warn about fines.
We’ll start with education.
The new council will need to ram home the message on every lamppost that
littering is unacceptable and will be punished with a fine issued by litter wardens who vigorously pursue this matter.
It happens elsewhere and it works.
We need to install
new bins, which take account of the fact that smoking has been forced
out on to the streets by the smoking ban, and have integral ashtrays.
In Warminster we need
to develop a ‘Warminster Rubbish Awareness Project’ which works through
the schools to involve the whole community in reducing the rubbish,
sets up community litter picking teams and organises mass clear ups of
badly hit areas, perhaps by involving the garrison.
We need to engage
with the whole community in this through newspapers, community groups,
local radio, the community area partnership, civic trust, the police
and in fact everyone who has a vested interest in keeping this
We have the will and
imagination to force this programme forward but we are likely to get
little help from the town council as they seem about as interested in
this subject as they are in the town hall.
In July, if the
right people have been elected, it could well be that this subject is
forced to the top of the local agenda at the Warminster Area Board.
We know there are
people concerned about this matter such as Heather Vine in warminster
and the teams of rubbish clearers in Corsley and Chapmanslade.
There must be many more in Warminster - all we need do is mobilise them.
If other towns can crack this problem then so can we.