When it snows the council gritters don’t treat Marnix Willems’ street in Andegem. This isn’t a problem for Marnix and his neighbours though as he has made his very own snowplough that he uses to keep the street free of snow. The snowplough has not been used much in recent years as we have experienced a series of mild winters. Consequently Marnix Willems was delighted when the big freeze set in as it gave him the opportunity to get to work again with his snowplough.
He told VRT Radio 2 East Flanders that “There was just a little bit today. I don’t know what is coming. I hope that there is now snow because I really enjoy it”.
A converted lawnmower
The snowplough is in fact a lawnmower that Marnix converted into a snowplough a couple of years ago. “I fixed a wooden boulder to it and fixed a metal plate to the boulder. It’s not really big, about 150 centimetres long. We drive it up and down the street and push the snow to the side. In this way I can make the road snow-free from the people in the area”.
On Monday morning Marnix Willems was up with the lark to get the street cleared of snow before the rush hour. “It is of course best that you do it before anyone drivers over the snow”.
Nevertheless, Marnix wouldn’t say that he is an expert snow clearer. “But I have found that I’m getting better at it. The snow isn’t stuck to the road surface yet, so it is easier to push it to the side”.
Needless to say, his neighbours are delighted with his efforts and he has received a good number of likes on Facebook.
Before you think of asking Marnix Willems to come and clear the snow from your street you need to know that he plans to limit his snow clearing activities to the immediate vicinity of his home. “It’s fun to do, but I’m am not planning to travel to the Ardennes to go and clear snow there. I’m not going to take it that far”, the neighbourly East Fleming laughed.