The one with the Dons’ silver cup
Bundled up against the freezing zero-degree weather, 41 volunteers descended on the Wandle at Plough Lane to help us tackle yet another 50m of rubbish-filled waterway and litter-strewn Wandle Trail:
Some of our greener volunteers had cycled to the cleanup and tethered their two wheeled steeds to the railings:
Starting under the road bridge and working upstream it wasn’t long before a water logged mattress was discovered in the river and was hauled up to the rubbish dump on the end of a rope:
There was lots of light litter too, some of it hard to reach in the bramble bushes:
Somewhere under the bridge, American student Eric pulled out a hallmarked silver cup engraved with the words Wimbledon Football Club Snooker Handicap Cup – presented by the Mayor of Wimbledon, Councillor CW Black, JP, 1947 …
Can it really have been in the water since then? We’ll do our best to find out and return it to its rightful owners!
In the meantime, we welcomed the chance to warm up with tea, coffee, hot pumpkin, sweet potato and ginger soup… followed by cupcakes, a ginger cake and a pre-Valentine’s Day chocolate cake complete with pink glitter dusting produced by Sally and Jo:
Jo also brought a bottle of her raspberry gin so that those who weren’t driving could have a nip and keep out the biting cold. Does this count as one of our five a day, we wondered?
(Don’t forget: these and many more delicious recipes can be found in the Wandle Trust Cookbook volumes I and II – you can buy yours for just £3.50 at cleanups, and all proceeds go towards the work of the Wandle Trust!)
In spite of the near-Arctic conditions our volunteers worked on until 3pm and everything from household items, sports equipment and toys to statuettes of goddesses were retrieved during the rest of the afternoon:
Once the van was loaded up with all the kit and on its way back to the garage in Battersea, most us us departed to thaw out, while volunteer Mark was quick to post his own photo story on his blog Gullible’s Travels!
As ever, we’re very grateful to Tony and Francis of Merton Council’s Waste Management Team who arranged collection of the rubbish pile.
Thanks to all our volunteers: Andrew, Andy B, Andy P, Bella, Catherine, Charles L, Charles W-S, Chris, Elizabeth, Eric, Erica, Gearoid, Graham, Helen, Henry, Hugh, Jacopo, Jo H, Jo S, John, Kate, Lucy Sa, Lucy Sh, Mark M, Mark T, Martin, Mel, Moosa, Mike, Nick, Phil, Rachel, Roger, Sally, Sally Ann, Scott, Stefanie, Theo, Toby, Tom and Wayne
… who collected …
1 silver cup; 1 shopping trolley; 1 push chair; 1 pot of paint; 1 laundry basket; 1 vacuum cleaner; 1 vacuum cleaner hose; 1 dustbin; 1 pallet; 1 credit card; 1 vinyl record; 1 Disney toy candlestick; 1 knife; 1 toy chainsaw; 1 toy lorry; 1 statuette of Shiva; 1 loo seat; 1 car seat; 1 broom; 1 stepladder; 1 tennis racket; 1 mattress; 2 skateboards; 2 coat hangers, 2 bicycle tyres; 4 car tyres; 8 carpets; 10 bags of cans and bottles and 2 tonnes of unidentified rubbish.
Eel tally: 1
Photos: thanks to Sally Ann Symis and Sally Pike