Erica described this as "the one with the obstinate lamp post" but I think of it as "the one with no shopping trolleys". I always describe these community clean ups as pulling shopping trolleys out of the Wandle so it was a little disappointing not to find any this time.
Still there was plenty of other rubbish to haul out. The carpets are the worst (after duvets) because of the weight of water. You have to haul them part way out and wait a while for the water to drain out before it gets possible to haul them the rest of the way. Given the height of the banks much of that water dripped into my hair - rank and filthy water, yuck!
Theo, the chairman of the trustees, is a keen angler and has just published a book on urban fishing, "Trout in Dirty Water" - a guide to urban fly-fishing, river restoration and the voluntary sector in the 21st century. Naturally I had to get a copy and have it signed by the author.
Theo Pike book signing
The water was deep and the waders were heavy and awkward - call me the Stumbling dice. I stumbled in the water and got a wader full of Wandle, I stumbled on the bank and got a handful of stinging nettles, I stumbled on the path and got a kneeful of grazes. Doctor, doctor what should I do? Limp!
This is at lunchtime, the final haul was: 1 holdall, 1 metal barrier, 1 saw, 1 car seat, 1 wheelbarrow, 1 fridge door, 1 microwave, 1 tarpaulin, 1 long plastic pipe, 2 lamp posts, 2 oil drums, 2 metal frames, 2 road cones, 2 office chairs, 2 televisions, 3 large bore pipes, 3 mattresses, 4 metal pipes, 5 pallets, 6 metal bars, 6 plastic pipes, 6 sheets of corrugated iron, 8 carpets, 12 tyres and approximately 2 tonnes of other unidentified rubbish.
Hard work and a knackered knee but still, a mountain of rubbish and a job well done :-)