Norwich families say fond farewell to their community’s Mr Clean

A Norwich community is saying a fond farewell to a man who has voluntarily kept their street clean for the last 15 years.

Families from St Stephen's Square, behind the Trowel and Hammer pub at the bottom of Newmarket Road, came together on Saturday morning to make a presentation to their community gardener and street cleaner, Robert Raven.

Mr Raven, 56, is moving away from the area at the end of this week but the homeowners he has happily helped over the years wanted to show him their appreciation before he left.

They presented him with a cheque for �100 that has been raised for him before he and his wife Marilyn leave for pasture's new.

Mr Raven works as a gardener and street cleaner but has continued his job in his own time so that he can take pride in his neighbourhood.

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Thanking his neighbours for the presentation, Mr Raven said there was one simple reason for the strong community spirit on their street: 'We are all basically nosy and want to know what is going on; we can find out things here quicker than the FBI,' he joked.

'I've always done this voluntarily because we don't get many street cleaners down here and I've always thought that wasn't good enough for the amount of council tax we pay.

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'I've done it to keep the place looking clean and tidy, basically.'

Local Home Watch co-ordinator Doreen Cochrane said: 'We can phone Robert at 11 at night and he'll be out there cleaning up.

'Everyone was willing to give something to this because we all wanted to show how much we appreciate him and how much we are going to miss him; he's been a big help over the years.'

Those thoughts were echoed by another neighbour, Sacina Meddings, who added: 'He's an extraordinary person. He'll be outside first thing in the morning cleaning up and we tend to get quite a few drunk people coming through here on their way out of the city, so he always cleans up after them. His garden is beautiful and he does his best to keep the street the same way. He's part of what makes this street a good community.'

Do you know of a community event in the Norwich area? Call reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email

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