They were a menace

Published: Thursday, 21 January 2021

JOE Pullen's article about vandals in the past brought back a few memories, writes James Henry.

He certainly painted the right picture of those days for vandals were indeed a menace as he mentioned, especially at school holiday times.

Away from civilisation

We attempted to moor well away from civilisation and if possible by a bad towpath that would deter them from their bikes, and coming out of Brum through Netherton Tunnel—obviously early morning—we decided on the Fen's Branch then reversing up the remains of the Stourbridge Extension Canal, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but no escape as a youth came hurling down on his scramble motorbike, turned away from us then proceeded to rev up and splatter the boat with mud, driving away laughing.

This was the sort of thing we had to put up with in those days, then coming back up the Staffs & Worcs had to be careful at the noted 'black spots' where the vandals abounded.

I am certain your older readers have many such tales to tell, and we can thank God that the kids now have other things to entertain themselves and leave us boaters alone.

I must add though that in those days of British Waterways what was rare was stoppages, there was no need to troll to find where it was safe to plan.  So in one wayhappy days!