THINGS are looking brighter for people arriving in Barrhead...after a fed-up resident staged a one-man mission to clean a filthy sign that greets visitors to town.

Douglas McEwan, 65, became increasingly frustrated by the state of the sign in Glasgow Road, near the railway bridge, as he regularly drove past.

So, armed with a big brush and some gardening equipment, he gave up his free time to perform his very own clean-up operation.

Douglas, a freelance building surveyor and part-time driver for floral company Fiori, told the Barrhead News: “I’d said to myself over the past five years ‘gosh, I’ll need to stop and clean that because it seems no-one is bothering to.’

“I was stunned by how dirty the sign was.

“I’d keep passing it in my car and it would constantly annoy me, so I finally made the decision to clean it after buying a long extension brush.

“I didn’t realise it was going to be as hard a job as it was but I got there in the end.

“I spent about an hour trying to get spray paint off and managed most of it.

“I cleaned the poles and cut away the bushes below it.

“There was also graffiti on the wall to the left of the sign, so I cleaned that away with a wire brush, making it a wee bit fresher.”

As Glasgow Road is one of the area’s busiest routes, Douglas also took his strimmer along to tidy overgrown foliage near the sign, so that people visiting Barrhead wouldn’t get a bad impression of the town as they arrived.

“I managed to trim the branches so you can see the sign better,” he added. “There is still one branch that needs to go to let you see the sign from further away but it was just too big for me to tackle on my own.”

Douglas also told how passing motorists helped to keep his spirits up as he gave the sign a good scrub

“I had people beeping their horns at me, which was funny,” he said.

A spokesperson for East Renfrewshire Council said: “Our road signs are inspected during the course of our routine safety inspections and any signs which are identified as requiring to be cleaned are dealt with as soon as possible.”