Grantham Rivercare volunteers battle wind and rain to remove armchair and trolley

The armchair and trolley were lodged in the weir.
The armchair and trolley were lodged in the weir.
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Braving the wind and rain, Grantham Rivercare’s determined volunteers successfully removed an armchair dumped in the River Witham at the weekend.

Last month the armchair appeared in the river close to the white bridge in Wyndham Park. “Some delightful person or persons decided to dump it there rather than take it to the waste collection centre,” said Grantham Rivercare leader John Knowles.

The team used grappling hooks to get hold of the armchair.

The team used grappling hooks to get hold of the armchair.

However, after a period of heavy rain the fly-tipped furniture disappeared, before the team discovered that it had been washed downstream and become lodged next to a shopping trolley on the weir at Harrowby Mill.

John said: “This presented a considerable challenge to the Rivercare team, but a small group of volunteers braved the wind and rain on Saturday in an attempt to remove them both. The strong current meant that it was not safe to go on the weir. The only course of action appeared to be by throwing a grappling hook from the footbridge. The problem was that the armchair was some twenty feet away and it would be too heavy to haul up on the bridge.

“After a lengthy debate it was decided to tie the two grappling hooks together to provide extra length. Following several attempts, a hook was secured on the chair. It was then dragged across the weir and on to the bank. From there it was hauled up the bank and over the fence on to the path. The chair was extremely heavy and involved considerable effort from the rescue team. It was then loaded on to volunteer Colin’s pick-up truck to be taken away for disposal.”

In addition, the team also managed to get hold of the trolley after several more attempts with the grappling hook. If that wasn’t enough for one day, the team set about clearing all the other rubbish left along the river back up to Wyndham Park, despite the rain continuing to pour down.

Grantham Rivercare volunteers lift the chair up the bank.

Grantham Rivercare volunteers lift the chair up the bank.

“This was probably one of the sternest tests the Grantham Rivercare team have ever faced and they came through it with flying colours,” said John.

Their efforts have also received the praise of Rivercare’s project officer for Lincolnshire, Fiona McKenna, who said: “Yet again Grantham Rivercare have done themselves proud!”

Grantham Rivercare’s next scheduled clean up is on Saturday, February 27, assembling in Wyndham Park at 9.30am or Bridge End Road at 10am.