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Philip

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  1. I have a couple myself. I'm just being realistic and I refuse to believe anyone who says they have never prejudged in their head or felt at least slightly apprehensive if they've approached a bridge in the circumstances I've described.
  2. I'm wondering if anyone else notices a distinctive aroma of the water towards the southern end of the Shropshire Union? I'm guessing it is a mixture of the soapy water from Barnhurst sewage works, combined with the canal bed/bank materials and the vegetation; I think a good description is a fragrant earthy smell. The smell has been there as long as I've known and I like it, find it adds to the character and many quirky aspects of this canal. It's particularly noticeable at locks with the bywash and when you open the top and bottom gate paddles. Are there any other canals people know of which have a distinctive 'smell' to them?
  3. Would you invite a gang of late-teenage, hoody-wearing lads onboard who are hanging out under a bridge, particularly if you're on your own?
  4. There's a difference between groups of youths who are genuinely interested and ones up to no good and you can often tell by instinct beforehand. On this occasion, I could tell beforehand that they were up to no good so I didn't invite them on, just as very few would in the same scenario.
  5. I didn't think you were and in fairness I can't remember experiencing any other similar incidents, so this stands out more as a result.
  6. I said 'terrorising' not 'terrorism'...you know there's a difference in the context. The incident happened under Blaydon Road Bridge, which is out of sight from the boatyard. I wouldn't call it scaremongering, rather caution from personal experience to counter against one or two up-thread who are basically saying to treat the whole stretch (including the bits that aren't next to the boatyard and boat club) like any other area of canal.
  7. I said 'terrorising boaters', how else would you describe chucking stones at people? It certainly isn't a laugh and it's the intent that is the issue, regardless of where it hits. People don't do it to others in the street, but some go to the local canal to do it because they have nothing better to do and boats are seen to them as an easy target, and this doesn't reflect well on the area. Just to add, the guys at one of the boatyards there once recommended not to stop between the stop lock and the boat club, so it's not just me.
  8. Why would you take it with a pinch of salt, when I've already said I was minding my own business? They asked for a ride on the boat as I went past, I politely declined (I did not rant or insult them in any way just so you know) and then the next thing I knew a stone lashed the boat and was lucky not to hit either myself or a window. I was furious but kept my head and didn't say anything to them, if they'd smashed a window then it may well have been a different story! An area which has gangs of youths terrorising boaters from the towpath doesn't deserve a good review. The area on the offside of the stop lock is also a dump - full of dog crap and rubbish.
  9. It still doesn't seem to stop certain northern canals especially (like the Ashton for example) not shaking off reputations from 30-40 years ago, even if the situation has improved a lot since, so it's a bit irritating that others areas like the West Midlands and London canals seem to get an easier ride. To be fair as far as Autherley Junction goes I'd agree that the stretch opposite Oxley boatyard looks reasonable and the best place to stop, especially as quite a lot of boats moor there, but I think it is better to avoid mooring betwen Napton Narrowboats/the stop lock and Wolverhampton Boat Club.
  10. Just because you've not had any hassle doesn't mean to say it doesn't happen. Last year I got stoned there by youths hanging about under a bridge and I was minding my own business, I didn't antagonize them. From my experience it's not a good area to hang around.
  11. No it isn't. It's a rough area and boats are a target. People go on about canals like some of the Manchester ones being bad stretches, Autherley Junction isn't any better but doesn't get the same criticism because it's on a popular canal.
  12. Pretty much what I said, do the first mile of the Shropshire Union at least before stopping. Opposite the boat club might be 'safe' but I'd say the moorings between bridges 7 and 8 look a lot more pleasant, scenery wise.
  13. Agree except for the first mile - that's on a par with some of the more 'notorious' urban stretches of waterway in the country.
  14. Autherley Junction isn't the best place to stop, better to carry on to the moorings between bridges 7 and 8 on the Shropshire Union - or do the first 5 miles and stop at Brewood if you want shops or places to eat/drink.
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