A TAVISTOCK man is ‘sick to death’ of the state of numerous signs, lamp-posts and railings around the town calling their neglect ‘shambolic’ and is now on a mission to raise his own funds to fix them up in a project he’s calling TUT (Tart up Tavistock).

Charles Bassett has decided to run a half marathon in a bid to raise funds to spruce up parts of the town which he said have been ‘forgotten’. The idea came to him after going for a run through the park and noticing the gates at the entrance to the Meadows.

‘I’ve had enough of the state of our streets, it’s disgusting,’ said Charles, who is part of DRB Car Sales in the town.

‘Why are these things so dirty? Every business wants to bring more people into Tavistock and we want to have a nice town to show them but some areas are just unacceptable.

‘We like to keep our business premises clean, tidy and free of weeds and it should be the same for the town — the town is a business too.’

Charles grew up in Tavistock and his family have owned and been involved in many businesses in the town over the years. He said many people he had spoken to had shared his views.

‘It’s shambolic. I grew up in the town and I want to be proud of it but just looking around, it’s disgusting.

‘People come to visit from all over the place and spend their money here, it should look nice and make an impression on them but at the moment I don’t think it does — and the Meadows is the flagship of our town.’

Charles pointed out the potholes in the canal walk as a danger to walkers and disabled people, the weeds in the pathways, lack of grouting between the kerbstones on the pavements, rusty railings, dirt build up on signposts, peeling paint and the town crests on gates such as that on the entrance to Rose Walk (pictured above) rusted away to be almost unrecognisable.

He said it was all the little jobs that would make a difference if someone spent a bit of time doing them.

And so on August 1 he will be running his first competitive half marathon, hoping to raise around £3,000 before getting a few quotes from people who could do the small jobs of rubbing down and repainting.

Charles said he wasn’t much of a runner but wanted to do something to raise funds to brighten up the town.

‘I’m going to put money in myself as well and have said that if I don’t do the half marathon in one hour 30 mins then I’ll double my money.’

Anyone who would like to contribute to the fund and sponsor Charles’ efforts can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tartuptavistock