IMG_6828 IMG_6838It wasn’t the usual sleepy Sunday morning for some local businesses and students last weekend as, armed with rubber gloves, bin bags and buckets of soapy water, a group of volunteers took on the task of giving the Kings’ Mile a Spring Clean.

Now in its second year, the annual event organised by the Kings Mile traders association aims to remove some of the unwanted stickers on lamposts, rubbish and graffiti that builds up along the streets from Northgate to Palace Street over the winter.

“The area needed a bit of a spruce up,” says Sarah Wharton of silver jewellery shop, 925. “since the demise of the Canterbury-wide Big Clean, we decided to do it ourselves and look after the area that affects all of our businesses. “And we are going to try and make it a twice yearly event.”

Last year it was the street furniture – the lampposts and bins – that were the problem as they were covered with stickers. This year it was a disused car park in Northgate that got lots of attention.

An overgrown bush had become a tipping ground for general household rubbish including a television set, glass bottles and rotten vegetables , and loads of empty cans – and it was a real eyesore.

But after an hour, with the help of the Book Binder, Chris Paverley and his flat bed truck, the bush was trimmed and the rubbish carted off to the dump.

The traders were joined by local students from Canterbury Christchurch University.

“I saw the event advertised on our notice board so thought I’d come along,” says Laura McEvilly of the women’s hockey team at Christchurch.

Ian Blackmore from the Jolly Sailor pub who is part of the association says that the students don’t mind getting stuck in to the cleaning:

“They are conscious that they are part of the community and want to do something to help.

Students get a lot of bad press, but this is a way of them doing something positive.”