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In Praise of Cleaners

by David Diggory

Michelle Aird is one of the valued staff to whom much is owed in returning a forlorn-looking Cathedral to its natural state as a centre of Worship, Welcome and Faith.

As cleaning team leader, she worked tirelessly from 2nd June for a period of five weeks. Mop, brush and cobwebber in hand, she began her task, cleaning aisles and arches, floors and ceilings, windows and ledges, forever mindful of the need to ensure at some uncertain date people would return and want to know the vast interior was Covid-free.

“It was a hard job,” says Michelle, “avoiding the webs that hung in the darkness. And I didn’t always manage it. One time, a rather large spider dropped into my eye….”
She continued, undeterred, according to a long list:

Hoover velvet in the choir✓
Clean and polish brassware✓
Clear pond in the Garth✓(the dragonfly larvae, rejoicing in the peace, were prolific this year).

Working methodically, accompanied variously by Stonemason, Verger or Clerk of Works, she completed her responsibilities by working on hands and knees to scrape chewing gum from the entrance, undercroft and cloisters.

Not so much as a whisper of complaint throughout!