Where are the 'vandals'?

Published: Thursday, 21 January 2021

IN BETWEEN lockdowns last year I once more took to the canals for a boating holiday, writes Joe Pullen.

It was a good 15 years back that I was last on a narrowboat and well remember those vandals, I subscribing to your page that listed them, there were so many.

CaldonDisusedBridgeBricks slung at you

In those days it wasn't the stoppages that were the problem but vandals, especially out of school times.  And you had to be aware that at any moment you would get bricks and the like slung at you, one German visitor being put in hospital after a brick hit him being thrown off that disused bridge on the Caldon, at his hire boat. (Pictured.)

The junction between the Worcester & Birmingham and the Stratford canals was another favourite place for them slinging stones at you.

Run the gauntlet

On a trip on the Trent & Mersey at that time I had to run the gauntlet of the bridge over the Trent at Rugeley, get bombarded along the Caldon at Hanley then chased along the field by the estate out of the built-up area.  Needless to say we went under that disused railway bridge early morning whilst the louts were in their beds.

The Caldon was one of our trips last year, altogether spending a month on a hire boat and never meeting a single vandal.  Asking boaters I met along the way I received a blank stare!  No one seems to know what waterway vandals were!

The penny dropped

Then the penny dropped—all the kids are so busy killing off people on their tablets and the like or stuck with their mobile phones glued to their ears.  We have the internet to thank for the peace of the waterways!  How pleasant it was.