The weather could not have been worse for the first day of Helston Town Tidy Week but this did not put off the dedicated volunteers.

Over the weekend 25 people went out on the street in fluorescent tabards to scrub, spray and brush areas of the town during the first two days of the dedicated cleaning week, which continues until Friday.

It has been organised by the Helston Business Improvement Partnership (HBIP) as part of a six-week schedule to get Helston looking its best in time for Flora Day, with upkeep then continuing through the rest of the year.

Scott Hesketh, chairman of the HBIP's aesthetics group, led the call for volunteers - and they answered.

Pavements and buildings were power washed, chewing gum was picked off the street and countless bags of dog mess were collected. South West Water has also got involved with jet washing, with Mr Hesketh saying the dirt coming off the pavements in particular was “unreal.”

He added: “The town is already looking a hell of a lot better than it was. Thank you to everybody that turned up so far - we couldn't have done it without them.”

Gutter cleaning was beginning yesterday and painting will be carried out, while Helston-Lizard Rotary Club members are tackling the white washed walls.

Town manager Jonathan Birkett said: “I think it's a sterling performance from the public and the business community. I think when we look at people really taking responsibility for the place, Helston is streets ahead of anywhere else.”

He praised the range of people getting involved, from children through to pensioners, adding that the improvement was already visible.

Cleaning continues between 4pm and 8pm today and tomorrow (Wednesday and Thursday), and people can just turn up and register at the time.

The final session takes place this Friday between 4pm and 7pm, followed by an after party and drinks in the Angel Hotel to thank all the helpers.

Mayor Jonathan Radford-Gaby praised the work of the volunteers, saying: “The Town Tidy has been absolutely brilliant.”

He said while it all very well to say it was Cornwall Council's job, in such times of economic hardship the buck really stopped with those that wanted to volunteer.

“If we want the town to look good and regenerate Helston I think it's very necessary that we go further than the unitary authority will. To see so many people out doing so much voluntary work really is quite humbling,” he added.