Cleaning Rainham Lane – work in progress

Yesterday a small team of us, residents of Chamberlain and Salisbury street, started cleaning up the servitude that runs along the back of our houses: Rainham Lane.  It was pretty bad. Some areas of the lane were completely choked with weeds.

We could hardly open the door leading from our backyard into the lane, and everyone got covered in burs.  Did not stop the dogs from having a total ball though:

The weeds by themselves were not so bad – home to praying mantises, crickets, snails, spiders and earthworms.  But there was also a lot of garbage woven in among the plants.  Plastic packets, chunks of concrete dumped after renovations, condom wrappers and so on and on:

There were also some pleasant surprises, like this gooseberry bush :

We ripped weeds out all along the lane, cleared doorways and the gutter  all along the lane, and caused a slow-motion panic among the snail population.


We soon saw that there was far more rubbish than we could dump with our single bakkie.  The plan is to get a truck in next weekend to get rid of the worst of it.  In the end we managed to take out the entire weed forest and sort the rubbish into piles.  It does not look pretty at the moment, but this is just the beginning:

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sandy Buchanan
    May 06, 2012 @ 08:44:11

    Well done !! now you will be able to enjoy your lane like we do in hounslow .

  2. mashadutoit
    May 06, 2012 @ 09:10:33

    Yes Sandy – you guys are our inspiration. Still a long way to go though! * *

  3. mark muller
    May 06, 2012 @ 13:49:47

    Good work, Masha and Brendon et al. We cleared it up in a similar fashion years ago. There were ‘Lane Angels’, co-ordinated by Bruce B. Keeping it clear was a challenge, though. Dumping persisted, and residents came and went without knowledge of the previous efforts. Perhaps a way of keeping all the relevant streets’ residents aware of the plans and expectations of the lane’s use are necessary (if you haven’t yet).
    All the best.

  4. mashadutoit
    May 06, 2012 @ 15:08:27

    We’ve heard the lane has been cleared before and gets filled up again with rubble… We will have to communicate with other residents and get more people on board. Whatever we do, it will be a ongoing effort – cleaning out the rubble and weeds is the least of it!


  5. Sandy Buchanan
    May 06, 2012 @ 20:32:48

    @ Marsha ,, we at the end abutting the avenue have always over the years worked hard at keeping lane clear possibly a consequence of being long term property owners ,, further down abutting Roodebloem either people renting or folk with a nimby attitude .. they dont live in and enjoy their homes ,, merely existed , now there more new property owners and yes it causes upgrade … and yes finally the energy spills over ,, then again we still whenever we see the weeds accumulating ,, we clean down to at least 5 properties down from us as a matter of form ,, we do have good neighbours, but either too old , no money ,, and yes one or two dont care ,,,

  6. mashadutoit
    May 07, 2012 @ 07:41:50

    It is a challenge! Not everyone will or can participate, and people have different ideas of what the lane should be used for too.

  7. ingriddekker
    May 07, 2012 @ 21:40:53

    HI. Just came back from Joburg. After reading your comments, i thought that maybe an incentive for people to keep the alley clean, is to quickly make it beautiful. I saw pot plants make of tins hanged on the wall. As we can’t block the lane, let’s plants stuff on the walls and maybe we each start painting our outside walls with left over paints and we each start a mural….

  8. Sinobia
    May 26, 2012 @ 20:51:29

    Glad we met up today! The apple crates to plant vegetables is a great idea. Let’s lead by example.

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