The Indian summer of September meant volunteering residents of picturesque Domesday village Iden could don their washing-up gloves for a village scrub-up.
A fearless foursome took on washing out the inside of the bus shelter following the departure of a very popular pair of house martins, which had successfully reared two nests of chicks; then, with sand paper and files, the volunteers rubbed down the outside of the wooden walls prior to giving them a once-over with wood stain. The shingle roof had been replaced by the parish council earlier this spring so the bus shelter is now all set for the autumn rains that are already well and truly with us.
The bus shelter was originally erected by public subscription to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953, as professed by the recently renovated plaque proudly hanging over the entrance. Let’s hope it will continue to shelter those waiting for a bus for at least as many more years again.
A troop of nine willing souls added hi-vis jackets, buckets, brushes and brooms to their attire and made their way slowly from one end of the village to the other. They searched out all highway road signs for a thorough scrub, to get off two years of dirt since the (now disbanded) village maintenance team last visited. It did not matter that some signs were just outside the parish boundary. These got a wash down as well so that drivers would be aware they were entering the village. In fact, the cleaners were so keen that they washed all the signs they came across, including the village hall sign, playing field signs and a few extra things like the red telephone box and the village hall and parish council noticeboards.
The effect was sparkling signs in the bright sunny morning and it seemed the volunteers were so taken by their efforts that they returned somewhat reluctantly to have a cup of tea and a chat.
As drivers enter the village the signs are still bright and clean. Thanks must be expressed to the volunteers for taking time to do something for their community. And doesn’t the bus shelter scrub up nicely!
Mary Philo is the Iden parish clerk