Park loo spruce-up from 85-year-old volunteer

Eric Lancaster, who is 85, volunteering to paint the toilets at Lilford Park in Leigh
Eric Lancaster, who is 85, volunteering to paint the toilets at Lilford Park in Leigh

A generous pensioner painter amazed a community group by picking up his brushes and sprucing up a popular green space’s toilets.

Eric Lancaster, 85, decided to do his bit for Lilford Park in Leigh by giving the WC block new coats of paint.

Mr Lancaster spent several days whitewashing the interior walls with emulsion, giving the doors a glossy new look and applying several coats of floor paint.

His community-minded act came about after the Friends of Lilford Park group, which helps to look after the popular green haven, announced several committee members intend to step down this year.

The group has now thanked Leigh resident Mr Lancaster warmly for his generosity, saying it only found out about it by accident.

Chairman David Sykes said: “We put a notice on the board about the present committee winding up and Eric has taken it on board and thought he would donate time and materials as a farewell shot. He came down and got stuck in. One of our volunteers who heads down to lock up the toilets at the end of the day found Eric working.

“We asked what we could do to say thanky ou and he said nothing, it was his donation to the Friends. He supplied all the materials himself and wouldn’t even let us pay for the paint.

“We’re obviously very pleased, it’s so nice when you have people with that generosity in the community. He’s a very quiet and mild-mannered gentleman and is a little embarrassed about the publicity, but he certainly deserves some recognition.”

Mr Lancaster’s handiwork took around a week to complete, the toilets having to be shut for a day so the new floor paint could thoroughly dry.

The friends’ group has also been in touch with Wigan Council asking the town hall to commend Mr Lancaster on his selfless action.

The organisation is currently looking for new blood to take over from some of the long-standing volunteers who have decided it is time for a younger generation to take the group forward.

A general meeting is being planned for August for anyone interesting in contributing, following July’s Rock ‘n’ Stroll music festival which it is hoped will showcase Lilford Park to the people of Leigh once more. For more details about the group, visit www.folp-leigh.co.uk