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Local hero makes dangerous tree safe – efforts recognised by Town Council

WHEN a tree was blown over in high winds recently creating a potentially dangerous situation, a local man stepped up and tackled the situation…..

Mike Smithson - 12th Feb 2014 blog
Mike Smithson makes the tree safe – Photo Jason Brindley

MIKE SMITHSON, from Spencer Close, Hedon has been declared a local hero by Councillor Sarah Rommell. His community spirit has been recognised as such by Hedon Town Council who is writing to the man to offer praise.

Hedon resident Mr Smithson, a refuse worker, played an essential role when high winds knocked a garden tree over on New Road, leaving it hung precariously over the main road near the Zebra Crossing at the Hedon crossroads. The tree, in its dangerous state, was spotted by visitors to Sarah Rommell’s house (she also lives on New Road).

Sarah tells us the story: “One of my relatives went outside for a cigarette and came back in telling me a tree was falling down.” Sarah immediately contacted other town councillors for help and advice: “Mike Bryan responded and went out to New Road and phoned the East Riding to get help. A police officer called Glen Waudby from the dog section was ending his shift but had stopped to direct traffic around the tree that was falling.

“A local dustcart man called Mike Smithson from Hedon saw the tree and went and got his chainsaw. He partially climbed the leaning tree, taking it down branch by branch before it could fall completely over the path and road.

“It was bitterly cold, shavings of wood were in the air and in my hair and mouth, so I’m sure it was the same for Mike Smithson in the tree. It was difficult for him to balance in the tree with the broken trunk while guiding down very heavy sawn off branches but he managed to do the job perfectly and safely, not dropping one single branch.

“When he was done he carried all of the branches to a safe place and piled them up. He sliced up the big, heavy branches and towed them away in his trailer leaving the lighter ones for the East Riding to deal with.”

Sarah and her friend Mr Jason Brindley swept up all of the small pieces of broken branch and sawdust from the paths and road to avoid people and cars slipping.

“I’m told that 40 trees fell in the East Riding that night,” said Sarah. “Mike Bryan had continued to chase up the East Riding council that night but they didn’t turn up until the day after when they took away the thinner branches left behind.

“Mike Smithson is a local hero in my opinion. We had a tree falling, no council workers were able to get there, but a policeman going off duty and a local man prevented a potential accident through their kindness and community spirit.

“I feel we should honour the kindness and community spirit shown by these men but especially Mike Smithson. The humble dustcart man who climbed a falling tree with no thought for himself to prevent an accident at the crossing from a falling tree. That’s why I asked the Council to send him a letter of thanks. He deserves it.”

Hedon Town Council will also be writing to offer thanks to police officer PC Glen Waudby for his efforts during the potentially dangerous situation.

Do you know any local community heroes you would like to see recognised? Let us know at the Hedon blog.

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