Getting to know…
Ruth Major is a local Redruth Councillor for the North Ward, and the founder of the Beautify Britain campaign, committed to keeping our country tidy, not only now and then but all the time.
Ruth’s favourite quotation:
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world” (Mahatma Gandhi)
Ruth was born in Manchester and has lived in various places in the country and abroad before coming to find a home in Cornwall. Drawn by family, and bound by the Covid restrictions, Ruth quickly spent her time wandering the mining trails in and around Redruth where she met many members of the community on their daily walks. When asked, Ruth described how she loved the wide-open spaces of Redruth, with so much on her doorstep, and enjoyed walking through the seasons as they changed.
“People, they make their own forms of entertainment here.”
She observed the friendly Redruth community, where residents contribute their time and energy back into the town—whether by organising events, preserving its history, or passing on skills and knowledge to the younger generations. One such place, Kresen Kernow, is home to the world’s largest collection of documents, books, maps, and photographs related to Cornwall’s history. Here, Ruth has researched her family history, spending time with their amazing artefacts.
“It’s a friendly town, possibly as a result of having been a bustling mining area.”
Having gotten to know Redruth and its people, Ruth saw areas that required some tender love and care, especially regarding the amount of litter on some of our streets. She attended our Town Council Meetings, asking questions and requesting to know what obstacles we all faced in developing Redruth; she quickly made herself known and loved. After receiving interest and positive feedback on her thoughts, Ruth applied to be our Councillor and succeeded!
But how did this interest in litter picking start?
Back in 2016, while Ruth lived in Oldham, she felt no one was promoting waste disposal, greener initiatives, or keeping the UK rubbish-free. Then, in stepped an article by Edmund Platt, a British expatriate who single-handedly took on the scourge in Marseille. On social media he launched his campaign ‘1 Dechet par Jour / 1 Piece of Rubbish’, a simple idea to encourage everyone to pick up a piece of rubbish every day and Ruth thought:
“I can do that”
Ruth eventually founded her Beautify Britain campaign and as time rolled on she combined her family history research with travelling up and down the country, using her free bus pass, picking up rubbish, promoting the campaign and earning herself the beloved name ‘Rubbish Ruth’. At first, Ruth admits, she got a lot of strange looks, but the longer she partook in her cause, the bolder she became and now you can often see Ruth wandering the town of Redruth, sporting a flyer on her back promoting ‘Beautify Britain’
“Oh, I don’t cook.”
With everything on the up and up, we wanted to know what Ruth did in her downtime. When she isn’t spending time with her family, walking, researching her ancestry or listening to podcasts, Ruth occasionally finds joy in reading. Currently, she’s immersed in “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists” by Robert Tressell—a novel about a group of working men led by a journeyman-prophet striving to persuade his peers that capitalism is the root cause of their surrounding poverty. When asked what meals she likes to cook, she laughed, stating she doesn’t. She spreads a little joy to the local small businesses by frequently purchasing a cuppa or a light snack. However, if forced, she can prepare the meals her mother taught her – meat an’ two veg! .
“My whole life is exciting,”
So, what’s next for Rubbish Ruth? She has lots of plans for the Beautify Britain campaign, keeping her social media up to date, travelling across the country again, as well as conducting more interviews, after already speaking on BBC channels, local news stations, and to us!
We’re looking forward to following Ruth’s trail and what else she accomplishes. You can too, by following her on her social media or, if you see her, say hello!
Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter – RubbishRuthsRambles @ruthmajor44
Tiktok – Rubbish Ruth
Youtube: Ruth Major
Ruth Major was kind enough to stop in for this interview on Friday 19th, 2024, and it has been lightly edited for length and clarity. Make sure to stay tuned for Vol. 2 and our next councillor and follow us for more on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.