From WF Guardian 5th March 1976
CLEAN UP SQUAD GO ON A “RECCE”
SPRING is just around the corner and the borough's Leyton Society is looking for ways to brighten up the area, and improve the look of some of the untidiest and least attractive spots.
On Sunday morning members of the environmental pressure group went on a walkabout with planning Officer Larry Hanson. Starting at the Bakers Arms, the party visited a number of landmarks in Leyton and Leytonstone. They were asking Mr.Hanson: “What can we do to brighten them up?
Centre of attention at Bakers Arms were the disused lavatories that have been an eyesore for a number of years. On-the-spot recommendations to Mr Hanson were for a chestnut tree or a fountain. He pointed out that these would not be practical, but said the council has plans to plant some urban trees in the autumn.
Outlining the Society s concern, vice-chairman Louis Abbott said: " Areas on public view have been left for a long period. They are now in an unsightly state”.
Next stop was Leyton Baths where the possibility of planting shrubs or trees was discussed.
Among the dozen or so other points visited were Leyton Cricket Ground, Walnut Tree House and Leytonstone’s Gainsborough Road car park.
Secretary Adrian Stannard admits the Society’s contribution can only be a small one.
He says: “We want little jobs that can be done over the weekend. We can put groups to work and produce a lot, but we need instant results. That is why tree and shrub planting is good for us."
But finding out what needs to be done is only a small part of Mr.Hanson’s job. He said:”Then I have to go back and do some costings. After that we see what is possible”. Money is the big stumbling block that stands in the way of area improvement.
"Our budget has been trimmed – in fact we do not have a budget at all – but we can divert from other similar projects” he says. A big package can be presented to the council for consideration as a complete scheme.
Joining the small group for the morning was English teacher John Shepherd, from Tom Hood Senior High School Leytonstone. He hopes to get his sixth form pupils involved in the clean-up campaign.
John says :”We want the students to get involved in the community – it’s their environment”.