Ilfracombe is gearing up for the big Spring Clean

Joseph Bulmer

Residents invited to join local groups and organisations to get the town ready for the summer

THE sounds of scrubbing, polishing, painting and much bustle will echo around Ilfracombe throughout April as the town embarks on its fourth big Spring Clean.

Residents and organisations will be hard at work cleaning, clearing and brightening up their own areas as well as prominent locations around the town in anticipation of the new tourist season.

The High Street will be closed on Sunday, April 17 for a day of pressure washing, clearing drains, pavement maintenance and painting as work crews remove an accumulation of winter grime.

Set up four years ago by Paul Yabsley and his fellow district and town councillors, the Spring Clean will see a team of local organisations doing their part.

These include the district, town and county councils, as well as Transform and its Ilfracombe Street Reps, plus Ilfracombe-in-Bloom and residents willing to do their part.

Another area highlighted for this year is the Trinity Church Gardens by the war memorial. While the shelter below the memorial has suffered from graffiti and grime of human making, it is mother nature who has begun to make the gardens untidy and all but obscured the church from view.

“Throughout the month we will be clearing overgrown shrubs, pressure washing, painting and then the In Bloom group will be working their magic,” said Mr Yabsley.

Cllr Colin Wright, also involved in organising the clean up, added: “I am very sensitive to what hits the public when they first come into our lovely town from the Mullacott direction and at the moment the first thing they see is something of a grotty mess.”

Mr Yabsley said the Spring Clean, first launched to combat some dire Ilfracombe “grot spots” was now a rolling programme which made sure the town continued to look good for the summer.

Another area being targeted this year is Fore Street, to coincide with improvements being carried at the bottom of the street, which include paving the road around to Broad Street and improving the pavements.

Many of the walls lining the street have also been attacked by nature, with moss, algae and weeds the main culprits. It is planned to remove these and repaint the area, as well as to tidy up the Albert Court garden.

If you would like to volunteer for the Spring Clean, or have any ideas, call Paul Yabsley on (01271) 862454, 07811 287633 or email

The Transform Street Reps will be cleaning up the avenues leading to The Lanes from the High Street on April 10 and 17, meeting at 10am. To join in or find out more, call 07888 966555.