Ten or so brave souls turned out for the Purfleet litter-picking Community Action Project on Saturday 16 July.
Despite heavy – heavy – rain, they filled around 20 bin bags with beer cans, bottles, cigarette packets, cigarette butts, crisp packets, and oodles of sodden oddments.
Those partaking in the event gathered initially at St Stephen’s Parish Church opposite the Royal Hotel on the corner by the Garrison Estate at 10am, joined by a few more later on.
Rock Thurrock’s Community Action Projects’ Coordinator, Edwin Hughes, distributed black plastic sacks, blue recycling bags, Hi Viz jackets – with their Rock Thurrock logos – and those claspy gadgets for effective litter-picking.
There was plenty of banter as the pickers picked tenaciously through the thick foliage beside the London Road between St Stephen’s and Purfleet railway station. A few people walked past and gave strange looks, but their were no comments.
Alan Field (pastor at Aveley Christian Centre, left) and Steve Blakey (of TCF, Access and Rock Thurrock, right) foraged away in the bushes like a couple of wild men from the woods.
It rained so hard, people started to get really wet, and the more it rained, the more Andy Blakey sang the only bit of the Delirious? song “Rain Down” that he knew – the line that goes, “Rain down…” We knew then, it was time to go home…
Photos by Edwin Hughes & Tim Harrold. You can see how much it was raining by the amount of water gushing over the gutter at St Stephen’s (below). The sacks of collected rubbish waiting to be collected by the Council outside St Stephen’s can be seen on the front page.