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Norwich market traders' Christmas thank-you to cleaner

PUBLISHED: 11:39 23 November 2011

Katherine Spence, who is looking for a job as a cleaner and in the mean time spends her time cleaning up Norwich much to the delight of the market traders icluding Mark Wright and Mitzi St.Aubyn.
Photo by Simon Finlay

Katherine Spence, who is looking for a job as a cleaner and in the mean time spends her time cleaning up Norwich much to the delight of the market traders icluding Mark Wright and Mitzi St.Aubyn. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant © 2011 01603 772434

Norwich traders are clubbing together to say a festive thank-you to a woman whose tireless work cleaning the city at night helps keep their market spic and span.

Though not paid for her work, Katherine Spence can be spotted around the city late at night and into the early hours as she spends hour after hour sweeping up the rubbish that people carelessly drop during the day.

And it is to give something back to the mother-of-one that a group of stallholders at the Norwich’s marketplace are saving up to buy her a Christmas present.

One of those grateful of her hard work is Mark Wright, who runs a vintage stall and said he first spotted Misss Spence going about her work in April.

And although tight-lipped about what the present might be, he was quick to praise the 26-year-old and hoped she would one day be paid for her efforts.

“It was about three weeks after first seeing her that someone told me she wasn’t being paid to do the work, she just wanted to do it. I am really grateful for what she does as she keeps the market clean and tidy. It’s important the place is kept clean as you get tourists here and whether it’s Gentleman’s Walk, Chapelfield or the market she covers all over the city.”

Miss Spence, of Paradise Place, said that since the birth of her son three-and-a-half years ago she had done her best to get a job.

And it was after being inspired by her group of “legends” – friends she has met along the way and cleaners who work for Fountains Environmental Ltd, and for whom she hopes to one day work – to grab a broom and high-visibility jacket and hit the streets.

“I did things I wasn’t proud of before but the legends have helped me come out of my shell. I think the other cleaners do a great job.

“It’s an understated but important job. They go under-appreciated and if everyone did what they and I did the place would be a lot tidier.”

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