Colchester: Soldiers from Air Assault Brigade help clean up the town’s river

Soldiers from the 13 Air Assault Support Regiment aid in cleaning up the river Hythe in Colchester o

Soldiers from the 13 Air Assault Support Regiment aid in cleaning up the river Hythe in Colchester on the 12th of June 2014. Through out the day the soldiers who are mostly chefs assigned to the different units swapped aprons for all in one wellies to get stuck into a mash of mud and water. This event is to aid in bringing closer ties to the community and the Brigade who are based in Colchester. Photo: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC - Credit: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC

Soldiers based in Colchester have waded in to help tidy up the town’s former port.

A group of 10 Army chefs from 16 Air Assault Brigade worked alongside Colchester Borough Council staff to remove rubbish from the River Colne at the Hythe, including a car bonnet and the kitchen sink.

The team also pulled out several shopping trolleys, bicycles and tyres. They were supported by a work boat from 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault) and a recovery vehicle from 8 Field Company, 7 Air Assault Battalion Royal Electricla and Mechanical Engineers.

The event was organised by Warrant Officer Class 1 Jim Tallon.

“This is a win-win for everyone involved. We have taken our chefs out of their comfort zone and challenged them to do very different work alongside civilians, which will have developed their leadership and teamwork skills,” he said. “At the same time we have contributed to improving the environment of the River Colne, making Colchester a nicer place for everyone to live.”

Lance Corporal Sam Coote, 24, from Colchester, was among the chefs swapping the cleanliness of the kitchen for the muddy river.

The former Sir Charles Lucas Arts College pupil said: “There’s all sorts of rubbish in the river and it’s been a messy job, but a good experience.

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“We’ve had to work as a team to hook the stuff up and pull it onto the bank, using winches, the crane or the boat when we needed extra help, or just brute force.

“It’s been particularly good to get involved in helping to tidy up my home town.”