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Elderly neighbours take action over 'dangerous' footpath in Great Gonerby

A 93-year-old great grandmother and her 70-year-old neighbour took it upon themselves to clear up a busy public footpath after wet leaves were turning it into a ‘dangerous eyesore.’

Min Shingler, 93, and Sheila Ward, 70, live next door to each other in Great Gonerby and set to work clearing leaves and other debris from the busy footpath, which leads up to the village green and church.

Min, 93, who has lived in the village for 46 years and used to own the village post office before her husband passed away 39 years ago, said: “It was getting on our nerves as the wet leaves kept getting stuck to our feet. It’s one of the main routes through the village and we had to practically dance around all the leaves. It was getting worse and we didn’t want anyone to slip.”

Min’s neighbour Sheila, who lives with her husband David, added: “The leaves were getting all compacted and we were frightened that an elderly person would slip and break their leg so decided to do something about it. I like to keep the place tidy. I walk my dog Havan around the village several times a day and always stop to pick up any litter.”

The determined duo took over an hour to clear the footpath but their good deed certainly didn’t go unnoticed.

Gary Bowers, who also lives in the village, was passing on his bike when he spotted Min and Sheila.

He said: “I was on my way home from town and was surprised to see them working away with their rakes and sweeping brushes. They deserve a medal.”

Gary filled a dustbin and four bin bags with the leaves and debris and took it to the tip. “He was our saviour,” added Sheila.

They were also each treated to a box of chocolatesfrom Jackie who works in the village post office.

Jackie said: “We were so chuffed and I just thought that they deserved a little treat. I walked down the footpath the next day with my husband and they had made such a difference. We no longer have to walk in single file.”

A spokesman for South Kesteven District Council said: “It is great that there are residents who show such commitment to their communities. We take our responsibility to keep streets and paths clean seriously and our Big Clean team was in Great Gonerby only two weeks ago.

“All the main footpaths were left clean and tidy but there has been heavy rain and strong winds since then which may have contributed to a build-up of fallen leaves.

“We have not received any reports of problems in the village and would encourage anyone who is aware of an issue to contact us at www.southkesteven.gov.uk/bigclean”

Min Shinger and Sheila Ward. (7857599)
Min Shinger and Sheila Ward. (7857599)

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