Friday, 14 March 2008

Rubbish and heaps of it!

10 locks and 11 miles, Now moored at Bridge 78 Catherine De Barnes.

We had a nice quiet night last night even though we were right outside the casino and night club. The pontoon moorings were great. We got under way fairly early as we knew that we had another full on day ahead of us. Being the Grand Union we were expecting double locks but was pleasantly surprised that they were singles. With the locks being close together we got a good routine going and the locks just flew by.

Now I know that we were passing through Birmingham's industrial hinterland but the rubbish both in the canal and on the banks was horrendous and we felt as if we were in some third world country, not Britain. There has been quite a few TV news report's recently on the state of Birmingham as a whole with it's mounting rubbish problem and I can see why. The city has a very large recycle and rubbish plant similar to one that we saw on the river Lee in London so there is no excuse for rubbish disposal. I think that councils every where in the UK need to toughen up on the rubbish legislation. They need to look at places like Singapore where they are rubbish free and you dare not drop even a cigarette butt or lolly wrapper for fear of an instant fine. Its a shame really because some of the canals through Birmingham could look as attractive as other canals around the country. Do English people no longer have pride in their country, where is the old Bulldog spirit or does that only come out in time's of adversity?


At the top of Camp Hill locks we pulled into the services for water and rubbish and what a surprise. What looks like brand new services, impressively clean with toilets, showers, laundry and a well stocked information bureau. We would certainly like to see many more like it. We spent a nice cup of coffee with Jeanette and Peter of Narrowboat Joanie M alongside the services and hopefully we will see them again out on the Nene where they are heading soon.


Industrial side of Birmingham

Along the way we came across the local canal contractor who was water blasting the graffiti off a bridge. Now we know these guys have been busy because since we left Rugby we have seen plenty of evidence that they have been working hard cutting back tree's and the vegetation but I fail to see how removing graffiti is going to keep the waterways navigable, because you can be sure that the graffiti will re-appear. We are now passing across the summit of the Warwick & Birmingham canal between Camp Hill and Knowles which we understand has had a water problem since inception but it is not the water level we are having problem's with, it's the rubbish, tree's and branches on the bottom constantly fouling the propeller. At one bridge, 86 from memory, we even ran aground underneath the bridge where there was a sole male sitting on the towpath. Dot was concerned that he may have been sitting there waiting for an unsuspecting boater to pounce upon and rob but nothing of the kind took place. We only cleared the bridge by jumping onto the towpath and pulling the boat clear using the centre rope. Now as far as I am concerned what need's to be done and I have said this on several occasions is DREDGING. Now most of these canal's are leased to various angling club's who are only too quick to charge for day ticket's, so why not get them involved in some form of dredging after all it would be in their own interest's as they wouldn't loose as many hooks etc; on sunken log's. Just a thought. After all we are constantly being told it's user pay's!

931 locks, 1303½ miles, 39 Tunnels, 41 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

1 comment:

BigJohn said...

Though I totally agree with you on rubbish and litter, Derek, I can't agree with you on the graffiti. Why not have a zero tolerance policy on that too? I think if you allow one, it will only encourage the other!