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The Nelson Photo News



Watch Those Bottles at the Beach!

If you're going down to the beach during the summer, the odds are that you'll see a big, powerfully-built man, bronzed by many suns, wandering around the beach picking up bits and pieces. Who is he and what's he doing? He's Noel Spencer, an honorary ranger of the City Council and he's doing his best to see that your holiday is not spoilt by having your foot gashed by a broken bottle or rusty nail. For 20 years Noel has patrolled the beach picking up bottles and nail-studded wood lying on the sand. In that time he's picked up something like 3731 bottles (unbroken) and countless smashed or mutilated bottles.

We, and the police and Noel (or "Pop" as he is better known), know that the beach is a favourite resort of those wanting to hold an outdoor "grog" party. Some of these have finished with the empty bottles being smashed and tossed haphazardly around the sand. Some irresponsible fools have even gone to the lengths of half-burying jagged bottles in the sand. Day after day Noel patrols the beach, visiting all the favourite drinking haunts and gathers up the empty and broken bottles. You wouldn't like your foot, or those of your children, or friends, to be gashed, would you? Then, please help Noel Spencer to ensure that it doesn't happen. Use the containers provided for any empty bottles, smashed bottles or tins with jagged edges.


Noel after a typical morning's round with a tin of smashed beer bottles


These two pieces of wood were spotted by Noel half-buried in the sand-imagine the pain they could cause.


Beer bottles, flagons, lemonade and spirit bottles have been collected in their thousands by Noel over the years