Bruck collector Cecilia nominated for Civic Champion award
The woman who last year carried out a massive roadside clear-up has been nominated for a community award.
Cecilia James has been put forward for the My Place Civic Champion award, run by the Glasgow-based Scottish Civic Trust.
The award is intended for someone who has made “an outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of their local heritage”.
In September the 66-year-old, from Vidlin, was thrust into the limelight after collecting bruck from the roadsides between Voe and Lerwick.
Over three months she gathered more than 250 bags of waste from an 18-mile stretch of the main road north from the town.
Several skips containing plastic and glass bottles, drinks cans, food packaging and cigarette packets were filled following the venture.
Unusual items lying by the road included a lamp stand complete with plug, an extension lead, a vacuum flask, a potty, CDs and an adult-themed DVD.
The project was sparked by a letter to The Shetland Times from a tourist who had cycled the route and was appalled by the mess that had been left by the roadside.
Cecilia’s name was put forward at last night’s Lerwick Community Council meeting as a possible civic champion.
Speaking to this paper, the hardy waste-collector said she was “overwhelmed” with the news.
“I had to sit down. I’m just amazed and utterly delighted that the subject of litter – and the disposal and picking up of litter – is having such a huge impact on people, including people within the [community] council.”
The My Place awards also recognise “a building, landscape or public realm project that has had a positive impact in a local neighbourhood,” delivering “tangible benefits” to that community.
Community councillors voted strongly in favour of putting forward the amenity trust’s annual Spring clean, the Voar Redd Up, as suggested by Gussie Angus.
Eight members raised their hands in support of the scheme.
The Islesburgh Youth Hostel and Mareel gained two votes each. Will’m Spence supported the energy recovery plant, which delivers hot water for the district heating scheme, and where Mr Spence works as the plant’s manager.
Entries for both categories will be published online and the winning and commended entries will be presented at a ceremony in March.
In one of the meeting’s lighter moments, Allan Wishart jokingly asked whether there was a question of ethics which needed to be answered.
The Scottish Civic Trust is based at an address called The Tobacco Merchants House.