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Garston Gang River Clearing - 2016

September 2016

The Garston Gang reconvened on Middle Bridge on Saturday 17th. We welcomed Nigel Gay and his daughters Helen and Zoe.  They had previously helped when we cut the hedge and cleared the weeds around the play area equipment in the Jubilee Meadow.  This time the two girls had their wet suits on ready for all the River Lambourn could throw at them!

Liam Robson, Dave Knight, regulars on the Garston Gang, were joined by Henry and Jane Matysek   who were very enthusiastic weed clearing virgins who I hope will be regular volunteers in the future as they really seemed to enjoy themselves.  We were joined by Janet Pounds who keeps her riverside garden so beautiful and which is now set off by a weed free river running by.

Dave Knight again provided coffee and garibaldi biscuits to refresh us all.

Many thanks to Jonathan Rabbitts for cleaning up all the weed so promptly, so keeping our village looking neat and tidy.

Many thanks to all who helped and to Tim Collins, Jim Lawless - aided by Rodney Farrant - who have cleared the stretches of river next to their properties.

We are always looking for new volunteers and ideas for more projects for the Garston Gang to get stuck into so do let me know if you see any parts of the village which need attention.

Chris Tonge (Gang Leader)

July 2016

Sadly not a great turn out, but we did welcome two new comers in Richard Brooks and his young son who joined old regulars David Knight, Martyn Wright, Mark Brock and myself.

We cleared a vast amount of weed from the river and made path through the worst parts which allowed more water to get away so lowering the level right through the village.

If the river continues to flow we will have another morning when we shall be looking for more volunteers, hopefully some younger members of the population, to help us old timers out.

Waders are not essential just wellingtons, fork and a little muscle required.

Many thanks to those who turned out, especially David Knight who provided very welcome coffee and biscuits.

Chris Tonge  (Team Leader)

June 2016

Following the formation of the Garston Gang, our village community volunteer programme, a group met on the middle bridge on one of the few dry days in one of the wettest Junes on record. Some of us were soon to be wet though from over-flowing wellington boots and leaking waders!!

Our group was made up of some old experienced weed pullers, Dave Knight, Marcus Coombs, Mark Brock and Martyn Wright who were joined by some very welcome new-comers, Dave and Moira Saunders (Moira had been presented with a new pair of waders that very morning – what a thoughtful man our Dave is), Liam and Sally Robson (Liam is our new Parish Councillor – did he realise what he had signed up for?)

After an hour of hard graft Dave Knight provided coffee and, of course, the legendary Garibaldi biscuits, something initiated by Martin Donno sometime ago. Marcus also brought out more coffee and chocolate biscuits so, well fed and watered we got back to work.  Later we were pleased to greet Richard Talmage, who came to help after work commitments, with fresh arms and legs (some old ones were getting tired by now!)

It was a very successful morning and my thanks to everyone.

Martyn Wright  reported later that day that the river level had dropped 4” (10cm)

Chris Tonge (Team Leader)


Image of people pulling weedsImage of people pulling weeds in the riverImage of people pulling weeds in the riverImage of people pulling weeds in the riverImage of people pulling weeds in the riverImage of people pulling weeds in the riverImage of people pulling weeds in the riverImage of pile of weeds pulled from the riverimage of large branch pulled from the riverimage of pipe next to the riverimage of large pile of weeds pulled from the riverimage of dog in the riverimage of flowing river

Photographs courtesy of Mark Brock