Volunteers with some of the debris they collected at the Totland beach. Picture by Robin Crossley.
AROUND 40 people from the West Wight and beyond rallied round to clear some of the beach at Totland Bay last Saturday.
Eight tons of gravel were cleared off the promenade and public toilets and 25 sacks of rubbish were removed to tidy up the stretch from the Waterfront to Totland Pier following the recent storms.
The clear-up was organised by Liz and Wade Brand, who sent out the SOS via community websites.
Wade is part-owner of the new Totland Pier Cafe, which he hopes to open after a major refurbishment in time for the new season.
Liz said: "I’m originally from America and I was so discouraged reading about the state of the beach on postings on websites after the storm.
"Totland was being described as a scrapheap and there was so much negativity. In the States, the community bands together to build itself up again after hurricanes and tornadoes.
"We got in touch with Helen Gibbs, from Totland Parish Council, and put out the word and were amazed at the response in just five days.
"Young and old turned up throughout the day to help clear the debris.
"Wade has spent eight months renovating the cafe and it just didn’t seem right the project could be put in jeopardy.
"We cleared out the public toilets, which were also affected. Until then, you couldn’t even open the doors because of the amount of shingle which had been blown in.
"We had holidaymakers and their children passing by who stopped to help us. Steve Aspin and Donna Woodward Taylor, from Cowes, turned up in a caravan and gave out tea, coffee and lunch for the volunteers. It was a lovely gesture."
There will be a clean up at Compton beach tomorrow (Sunday), starting at 2pm. Bring rubber gloves and bin bags.