Fred’s one-man mission to clean up his neighbourhood

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Menacing weeds growing along a Horsham road have prompted a pensioner into action with a one-man clean-up campaign.

Seventy-eight-year-old Fred Fowler - who suffers from a chronic rare lung condition - decided to act after the weeds spread along the roadside near his home in The Hornets, Horsham.

Fred, who is registered disabled and has been under the care of the Brompton Hospital for more than 50 years, wrote to all his neighbours on the estate outlining his plans to tackle the growing invaders.

And he asked his fellow residents if they would like to contribute £1 towards weedkiller to spray along the kerbside.

Said Fred: “Out of 48 houses, 37 responded and some gave more than a pound.

“I purchased 15 litres of weedkiller and then sprayed the whole road.

“I then spent three days cleaning it all up - with the help of a couple of my neighbours - and it now looks very nice and clean.”

Fred later contacted Horsham District Council’s street scene co-ordinator to see if the district council would provide more weedkiller to keep the road weed-free in future, but was disappointed to learn it was not something the council dealt with - West Sussex County Council is responsible for road maintenance.

Fred said that he decided on the spruce-up because he “wanted to give something back to the community.”

And it’s not the first time that public-spirited Fred has taken community action: last month he presented a new fold-up bed to Horsham Hospital so that relatives of patients could stay overnight.

Fred’s wife Evelyn, 79, died at the hospital in December after suffering a brain tumour. But instead of flowers at Evelyn’s funeral, Fred asked for donations to help the ward where Evelyn spent her last days.

The fold-up bed, which has since been used many times, was bought with the proceeds and presented to grateful hospital staff on Horizon Ward.