Felixstowe: It’s the seafront Womble!

TONY Bleek is Felixstowe’s very own seafront Womble!

For the 82-year-old cannot bear seeing the town’s prom left in a mess – and ventures out twice a day to clean it up.

Community-spirited Mr Bleek, of Sea Road, started his clean-up mission seven years ago after moving to the town.

On a bad day he can collect three full carrier bags of litter.

“Sometimes the mess is quite dreadful – especially after a sunny weekend,” he said.

“I usually start by clearing up the car park at the end of Sea Road, and then in the morning I will walk along the prom towards Landguard and will sometimes come back by the beach, and then in the afternoon I go the other way and walk down to the pier.

“I like to have something to do on my walk, so I pick up the litter.

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“It’s such a shame to see the prom in a mess – if we had another half a dozen people like me we could really keep on top of it. We need a number of Bleeks, not just one who is 80-odd!”

Even though Suffolk Coastal staff clean up the area and have plenty of bins around, volunteer Mr Bleek, who used to own waste paper company Suffolk Shredding before he retired, still finds plenty to do. He said the litter varied enormously but some of the more frequent items were tissues, cigarette packets, drinks cans and dog mess.

“The mess is unbelievable sometimes, but I’ve also found two �5 notes, a �10 note and plenty of loose change, and an unopened can of beer!” he said.

“I’ve found many single socks and gloves, too.

“People often leave behind buckets and spades and sometimes toys. I don’t throw away things like that and like to recycle so I take these to the playgroup at St Edmund’s Hall to see if they want them first.”

? What’s the most unusual thing you have found on the beach? Contact the Felixstowe newsdesk on 01394 284109 or e-mail richard.cornwell@archant.co.uk