RUTH Major is a woman on a mission - a mission to change the course of history one piece of rubbish at a time.

The 73-year-old has adopted a nomadic lifestyle, travelling across the country - from north to south and coast to coast - picking up litter as she goes.

Mrs Major sets off from her home in Lee Street, Oldham, and, using her older person’s bus pass, begins her cross-country route to her destination of choice.

And the purpose of her journeys? To raise awareness of the national 1 Piece Of Rubbish campaign - encouraging residents to make a difference by picking up just one piece of litter per day.

The mum-of-two said: “It is a lot of fun. Everywhere I go I talk a ‘load of old rubbish’ – to people in the street, on trams and trains, at airports, in pubs and restaurants, on cruise ships and in foreign lands.

“But my main passion is to continue travelling by bus pass around England, not only to promote the campaign but to simply have fun.

“I’m due to set off on Bus Pass Trip No 9 on April 7 and another journey for June is already in the planning stages.”

The retired teacher made her first journey in May, 2016, tied in with a trip to visit family in Paignton.

She had previously made the journey by train, coach, plane and car, and said she needed a change - it took her four days, staying overnight in three Hanover Housing Association guest rooms at Walsall, Redditch and Bristol. The Hanover Housing resident continues to make use of this cheaper accommodation on her travels.

She said of her first journey: “I travelled on 24 buses, spent £40 on accommodation and absolutely nothing on transport.

“I met some fascinating people, journeyed through beautiful countryside, explored several towns, made copious notes, took a photograph every hour, and frequented as many Wetherspoons as I could – if only to use the loo!

“I loved every minute and vowed I would soon be planning my next trip.”

That same year, Mrs Major undertook four journeys of five days each, and covered the country from Newcastle to Carlisle in the north, and Paignton to London in the south.

Two years on, she continues to plan her litter picking tours of the country, speaking with passers-by about the campaign as she goes.

She travels lightly with her rucksack and clothing as well as a #1PieceOfRubbish flag to draw attention to the reason for her efforts.

Manchester-born Mrs Major, who has lived in Oldham since 2006, also uses social media to spread the word and has accrued more than 400 followers on Twitter who keep up-to-date with her movements and ideas.

The initiative stems back to Mrs Major’s first trip, when she read an article on Facebook about Leeds-born Edmund Platt who launched the 1 Piece Of Rubbish campaign.

Mrs Major said: “This was such a simple idea that I decided to incorporate it into my travels and very soon I was taking photographs of my hand, putting rubbish into bins, in every town and city I visited.

“I posted them on social media sites to try to gain momentum for the campaign.”

Oldham Council is supporting the initiative and previously encouraged residents to keep the community tidy by picking up litter.

Mrs Major said: “Spreading the word is the biggest issue to overcome.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, together, we put Oldham on the map?"

Follow Mrs Major’s journey on Facebook at RubbishRuthsRambles, on Twitter by following @ruthmajor44 or Instagram @ruthmajor44. Alternatively, email her at