Ron's birthday bridge clean-up

Jackfield's Ron Miles was celebrating his 92nd birthday today, Saturday May 8, by cleaning the Jackfield and Coalport war memorial bridge over the River Severn.

"The normal thing on a birthday is to sit down and wait for the cards to come through the door, but I think that's a lousy way to start any kind of day, and was looking for something different to do," said Ron, who is in Jackfield Royal British Legion.

"The bridge is covered in turfs all over, green grass, and nobody will do the job if I don't. I'm doing it because it's my birthday, and really simply for fun.

"I'm taking a hoe to dig the turfs out and I'll drop them in the river.

"I'm also taking a dustpan and brush. I'm an ex-Coldstream Guardsman and we were always told that if you do a job, you do a job properly."

Ron was also taking a foldable chair so that he could take a rest during his effort, which if all was going to plan was being done from 10am to noon, although he said he would work longer if necessary.

The span of the war memorial bridge is reached by steps and Ron said: "I have already been up this week with two walking sticks to make sure I can climb up it on Saturday morning. I shall have no difficulty getting up the bridge, and there's a good handrail."

He was hoping to get a lift this morning from his home to the bridge but if not was driving there in his battery-powered wheelchair.

The metal footbridge opened in 1922 as a memorial to the local Great War dead.

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