Towpath a no-go area

Published: Wednesday, 01 February 2017

I EXPECT many saw your picture of the Grand Union Canal through Acocks Green in Birmingham and noticed all those visitors [on the towpath] that Canal & River Trust go on about, writes Melody Simms.

All can see there aren't any.  I live in Acocks Green, and I was not at all surprised to read that someone had been attacked on that towpath and thrown into the canal and can tell them that this is by far no isolated case, in fact people being attacked on that towpath is not news anymore, and I guess the only reason it was mentioned was that the victim was a well know lecturer.

A fool to go alone

Though the area is surrounded by built-up areas housing many families, you get very few walking on that towpath, and I only go if part of a party; I would be a fool to go alone, for gangs of youths patrol it.

Together with my partner, we moor our boat in the city, so of course use the Grand Union down there often, and it is always deserted except for druggies by the many bridges, usually awaiting their fixes as it is well known  for drug dealing.

The photograph was taken be my partner in August last year, with the towpath completely deserted, but there was someone waiting by a bridge when we got further along.  You can see why there is a warning about mooring in Birmingham in Nicholson's.