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MoominPapa

When bandits attack.

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MoominPapa    266

Had by far the most unpleasant experience of my boating career last night.

 

We spent yesterday boating from south of Barlaston on the T&M through Stoke and onto the Caldon. Around bridge 14 we seemed to have moved out into the country, it was getting late, and starting to rain hard, so we found a deep bank and moored up, just past the railway bridge. Big Mistake. We subsequently found out the that largest council estate in the country is just across the valley: described as "Feral" by a Staffordshire PC.

 

As it got dark, the attacks started: jumping in the back deck, followed by pulling the pins and throwing them in the canal, serious verbals. Feeling very insecure we phoned 999. It took a lot of effort to get the police control room to understand where we were. They don't do canals well. Then we started to be stoned: serious stoning with ballast from the railway line. No sign of the promised police. When the windows started to come in, it became obvious that we had to get the hell out, and fast. Not easy on a narrowboat. In the dark.

 

I started the engine and got on the back in a hail of stones and set off. The inevitable happened and I took a rock in the face. It hurt, but I had the presence of mind to ham up how much and bellowed like stuck bull. That seemed to work and they ran off. Either that or they couldn't be bothered to transport ammo from the railway as we got further away. In retrospect I should have pretended to be half killed _before_ I was hit, but you only think of these things later.

 

We made it in the dark to the offside pub moorings at The Foxley, where the police eventually found us. We got a few flash photos, but they're not good, and don't really ID the hoody-wearing scrotes.

 

Damage to me is bust glasses, bloody nose, contusions and a black eye. Damage to the boat is lost pins, broken windows and serious paint damage. Add two lost nights sleep - we didn't rest well last night - and a certain amount of peace-of-mind.

 

The lesson for boaters on the Caldon is not to stop anywhere before you get to Engine Lock. I'll be contacting CRT and suggesting that they make this advice available at Etruria.

 

I shall be starting The Campaign to Nuke Stoke-on-Trent.

 

If anyone is around later in the week and fancies riding shotgun when we have to head back that way, it would be much appreciated.

 

 

Cheers,

 

MP.

Edited by MoominPapa
  • Greenie 1

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Alan de Enfield    1,067

That sounds pretty frightening.

As I've mentioned before Stoke is the only place we have ever been 'stoned' and that was a gang of (maybe) 10 year olds, middle of the day.

 

Hope the injuries heal up soon - the mental 'scarring' will take longer but will eventually go into the 'background'.

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mark99    397

When we were up there there were a couple of likely lads on bridge dropping very large rocks off. I wound myself up like a spring ready to jump in the water if necessary to get one of them. Luckily (and it was only luck) they ceased as we took the boat through.

 

Unfortunately you/we are really vulnerable on a boat.

Edited by mark99

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Higgs    368

What a bad experience. Until now, I thought it unnecessary to carry a hard hat with visor on the boat. Sounds as though you've found a primitive bunch of cave dwellers. Will definitely mark this area with a hazard warning sticker.

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bigste    23

I made my mind up many many years ago that if I got any agro whilst moored up, to move on right away. Only happened once and I think it miffed them off that I wouldn't play ball. Anyway I moved on and was no worse for wear and got a good nights sleep. First sign of trouble - MOVE ON.

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BenC    15

Frightening. Glad you're now safe. Happened once to us on the Slough arm. A 4 and 6 year old! Called the police said where we were and they said that it happens all the time!

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mark99    397

Frightening. Glad you're now safe. Happened once to us on the Slough arm. A 4 and 6 year old! Called the police said where we were and they said that it happens all the time!

 

 

Unfortunately it's a known scrote spot too.

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hughc    17

It isn't that many years since a tourist on a hire boat was seriously injured by a brick dropped from that railway bridge. Regards, HughC.

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Naughty Cal    750

So sorry to here about you experience. What a shit end to the day.

 

I hope you can put this behind you and move on.

 

Luckily attacks like this are rare but that will be of little comfort to you right now.

 

Sending loads if virtual hugs and kisses your way from Naughty -Cal and her crew xxxxx

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Higgs    368

Frightening. Glad you're now safe. Happened once to us on the Slough arm. A 4 and 6 year old! Called the police said where we were and they said that it happens all the time!

 

Presumably because they let it happen, and do naff all about it. So, the upshot is, it's your fault for getting in the way of the thug's stones. mad.gif

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Bits of Stoke are quite nasty I'm afraid. A lot of attitudes are fairly primitive - I've heard more aggressive & racist talk in pubs there than anywhere else for a while. As OP says, Engine Lock is the first safe place to moor, and very pretty it is too. Milton itself is a pleasant village with a very fine 2nd hand bookshop (and good shops) i always visit when up there, but the canal's too narrow to stop for long. Below that your'e in Hanley, which is not the nicest area in the world. It's not a long trip from the Caldon to the lake at Longport, which is probably the next good place to moor going north, and south you've got Hem Heath and Barlaston after a few locks.

 

I got my ropes cut a year or two back at Red Bull and now avoid mooring anywhere round there near the town. Just surprised the scrotes were out in the rain - it usually keeps them indoors. But I've been boating around that area for ten years now and have never been stoned, so suspect it was a one off horrible experience. I wouldn't expect any trouble in daylight.

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blackrose    625

Sounds like a horrible experience. Hope you're ok and manage to fix the damage to your boat.

 

In previous threads of this nature (but where the levels of intimidation and physical violence have not been as extreme), we generally have a few contributors who suggest or imply that if we attempt to avoid dodgy areas then we are to blame for creating the problem, and if we experience trouble from people in those areas then it's our own fault because of the way we reacted to the situation. This is a philosophy which in effect takes responsibility away from the perpetrators and blames the victim.

 

I wonder what MP did wrong in this case?

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Hawkmoth    55

What a shock. I hope that this doesn't put you off from enjoying your boating.

It's an unfortunate fact of life that there are scroats out there. We've been up there a couple of times in the past and it seems we were lucky.

Get well soon

Bob

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OMG !, What a Terrible experience for all on board, inexcusable behavior,

I'm surprised there hasn't been a response from someone along the line's of ' Well it's not there fault, we've failed them as a society, we have to understand why they do such things' ect ect.

Thankfully the outcome of last night's attack ended up as a walking wounded and damage to property event,,, This Time !, Let's not even think what it could have Been !.

I really feel for you. So sad & horrible thing to have happened.

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blackrose    625

OMG !, What a Terrible experience for all on board, inexcusable behavior,

I'm surprised there hasn't been a response from someone along the line's of ' Well it's not there fault, we've failed them as a society, we have to understand why they do such things' ect ect.

 

Yes, this thread is just demonising people by calling them scrotes. MP should have invited them on board, made them tea and tried to get them interested in boats...

Edited by blackrose

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frangar    295

That sounds very scary....it's amazing how the police control rooms don't seem to know about canals....many years ago we had stuff chucked at us outside sainsburys in apsley.... They had no idea where we were even with bridge numbers and a retail park next door.

 

If it helps the rest of the caldon is lovely. Hope you don't let it get to you...and you can get the damage to both yourself and the boat sorted.

 

Cheers

 

Gareth

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Added to which, as a final insult is MP has to end up Paying for the 'privilege' of being attacked, by putting right the damage caused, and suffering the pain caused !.

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Mrs Trackman    25

The behaviour is totally wrong and not excusable in anyway.

However, ( and please don't attack me for this), I can't be the only one who used to adore the caldon. My first experience was from the beauriful churnett valley, where I joined a friend's boat then on through a busy stoke on Trent. I loved passing by working potteries with places where boats used to pick up their cargoes. Our last visits have been so different. Everything is shut up. I know life changes but it just seems so sad.

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Higgs    368

Sounds like a horrible experience. Hope you're ok and manage to fix the damage to your boat.

 

In previous threads of this nature (but where the levels of intimidation and physical violence have not been as extreme), we generally have a few contributors who suggest or imply that if we attempt to avoid dodgy areas then we are to blame for creating the problem, and if we experience trouble from people in those areas then it's our own fault because of the way we reacted to the situation. This is a philosophy which in effect takes responsibility away from the perpetrators and blames the victim.

 

I wonder what MP did wrong in this case?

 

I think Stoke-on-Trent was Tony Benn's old haunt. Labour Party Tristram Hunt is MP now, if my googling was correct. Bit of a scaremongerer, regarding the influx of Romanians and Bulgarians. If stereo types were true, Stoke-on-Trent should be right up the stereo type's street.

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