A WIDOW from Slimbridge was left in tears after she was shown kindness after her husband died from an unexpected source – her bin men.

Sheila Whitcombe’s husband Alan Whitcombe died in October from a heart attack after the couple had being married for 51 years and had settled in Merretts Orchard in the village following careers as police officers.

Mrs Whitcombe, 73, said that being a keen gardener he would often be found chatting to the rubbish men as they collected bins on the street.

“He was always out in the garden and he would always check with them what he could chuck away,” she said.

Speaking to the Gazette, she explained that she hadn’t talked to the two men, who she doesn’t know the names of, for awhile and only told them her husband had passed away three weeks ago.

Two days later, the widow found that a large bouquet of flowers had been delivered to her with a card which read: “Sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. Wishing you all the best for the future. From the Bin Men.”

“It’s a beautiful bouquet, I couldn’t believe it. I have to admit I cried when I got it,” she said.

“You always get a bad press about the rubbish men. To go to all that trouble, I just think they should get the recognition they deserve.”

Public space manager for Stroud District Council, Carlos Novoth, who is responsible for waste management in the district, said: “We are extremely grateful to Mrs Whitcombe for thanking the ‘Bin Men’ so publicly and to them for the compassion and caring they have shown.”