36 trolleys retrieved from Birmingham Canal Navigations

BCN Clean Up (photo: Martin Ludgate)

BCN Clean Up (photo: Martin Ludgate) - Credit: Martin Ludgate

The annual BCN Clean Up, where volunteers get together to clean the canals, was a great success

BCN Clean Up

BCN Clean Up - Credit: Martin Ludgate

One event that did manage to take place just in time before the Coronavirus put paid to most of the spring’s waterways activities was the annual BCN Clean Up, where volunteers from Waterway Recovery Group, the Birmingham Canal Navigations Society, the Canal & River Trust, local branches of the Inland Waterways Association and other groups get together to throw grappling hooks into the less well-frequented parts of the Black Country network and pull out rubbish to help keep these underused waterways navigable.

This year it was the turn of the Walsall Canal and the west end of the Tame Valley Canal, and as you can see there were some rich pickings. These included plenty of tyre, old bikes, baby buggies and a bumper haul of shopping trolleys with no fewer than 36 of them retrieved from just two bridgeholes on the Ryders Green flight. There were also some more unusual items found including trousers, an umbrella, body panels from a 1960s invalid car, and (perhaps appropriately for a ‘clean up’) a vacuum cleaner.