On Sunday, fifty members of the Eton Clean Up crew descended under blue skies onto the town to clear its streets and surrounding fields of litter. Fifteen Eton beaks and their families, a dozen boys, and numerous members of the local community came to support. After meeting in the Town Council, we armed ourselves with gloves, high-vis jackets, bags and litter pickers before dispersing through the High Street, South Meadow and the Brocas. Crew members battled through dense shrubbery on South Meadow Lane to find cans, cigarettes, plastic bags and Styrofoam boxes wedged in the soil. A variety of larger items also found their way into the hands of the volunteers, including chairs and bikes! The morning concluded with a chance for conversation over hot tea and bacon butties, graciously provided by the Eton Council.

A total of 58 full bin-bags of inorganic waste were collected over the course of the morning. Barbara, who filled a total of three of these bags, recounted her commendable efforts: “I collected a car battery, which was very heavy, I must say…”. Despite the great volumes of rubbish gathered, many remarked on how there was less this time than last. A good sign, but no excuse not to take your waste home with you or to put it in a nearby bin! It was, by all accounts, a lovely morning. Thanks must go to all involved: the boys; the beaks and their families; members of the Eton Community, notably to borough counsellors Samantha Rayner of Eton Wick and Malcolm Alexander of Eton and Castle. A special thanks to Mr Shirwani (HAS) and Mlle Herbommez (PFMH) for getting boys at the college really stuck in, and, of course, to Ros Rivas for gathering us all together for another successful and thoroughly enjoyable Eton Clean Up.

Vernon Li and Freddie zu Wied