Mr and Mrs Rose (left) receive their award from Cllr Keeble
Mr and Mrs Rose (left) receive their award from Cllr Keeble while remaining socially distanced in their garden.


This year’s joint winners received their award from Council Vice-Chairman Cllr. Roger Keeble in the unusual circumstances of a socially distanced surprise presentation over their back garden fence, courtesy of an obliging neighbour in late December.
You may well have seen the Roses on their walking excursions through the parish. What sets them apart from similar couples taking their daily exercise is that on each trip they collect up all the roadside litter they encounter. And they’ve been doing it non-stop for several years in which time they’ve filled literally hundreds of bin bags to go to the tip.
Cllr. Keeble told them, “When it came to this year’s award, there was absolutely no hesitation in deciding that you throughly deserved to be recognised for all the effort you voluntarily devote to cleaning up the verges and hedgerows throughout the Parish. You have our heartfelt thanks for all you do on behalf of the community.”
The couple were unaware of why they had been invited by their immediate neighbour in First Avenue to step outside into the back garden this afternoon. There they were greeted by Cllr. Keeble who handed over a framed certificate marking their achievement, a garden centre gift token, and an official letter of appreciation.
Said Ros, “We were a mystified as to what was happening in the garden until Cllr. Keeble explained we had been chosen for this award. We are thrilled.
“Naturally we’d much rather just enjoy our daily walks without stopping to pick up rubbish but when you see how much is thrown away, we feel we should do our bit to keep the area as tidy as possible.”
Before the afternoon of the presentation, the Roses had been busy again — four bin bags worth from the Wenlocks Lane and Blackmore Road area.
In 2019 we again had joint-winners when Jenny Dodd and John Hughes collected the Parishioner Award for organising a spectacular and moving tribute displaying thousands of home-made poppies in the grounds of St. Laurence’s Church for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.   Nominations for the 2021 award will be considered in November.