...has come under fire from angry canal boat owners who say discarded shopping trolleys could scupper their vessels. Complaints have come pouring into the Evening Telegraph about the number of trolleys from the Arena-based store which have begun to litter Longford.
....Wayne Rogers, chairman of the Friends of Hawkesbury Junction, says the supermarket chain is jeopardising the safety of canal boat users and endangering wildlife by not enforcing the measures. The 51-year-old narrow boat owner, from Ernesford Grange, said: "We knew this was going to happen as soon as the store opened...If a narrow boat's propeller hits a trolley it will cause at least £2,000 damage and I for one would sue the store if it happens to me.
This is a heavy dose of creative indignancy in my view. It's rubbish (excuse the pun) to suggest that running over a trolley causes that sort of damage. That is, unless you are a QC on holiday charging £400 an hour and you consider that ferreting down a weedhatch with wirecutters for five hours is billable time.
It's happened to me. Well, OK I'm not a QC (still less earning £400/hour) and it wasn't a trolley as such, but last year on the Rochdale I ran over a security fence from a nearby building site and wound up (excuse the pun) with it wrapped around my propellor. It took five tedious hours down the weedhatch with wirecutters, clip by tedious clip, to remove said fence from my propellor.
The metal-wire supermarket trolley is an icon of urban canal decay, and it really needs a reinvention. Step forward the all-plastic Supercart.
This looks flimsy enough that it won't cause canal boaters too much
problem. Please ask Richard Petrie to try it. Hopefully, Supercart's
recent quality control problems
won't upset the takeup amongst supermarkets, and narrowboaters can look
forward to surging over discarded Supercarts and see them splinter
under the propellor.
This was perhaps a strange question, and understandably the lady
manning the phone (presumably while the man was out selling to the ladies of Tesco) was
perplexed and said she'd have to find out and call me back. She never
did return my call, of course, but she probably thought mine was a prank phone call,
never realising the legitimate concern of my question. Well, it was a reasonable question under the circumstances. Wasn't it? I made my own research, which involved finding the specific gravity of the plastic concerned, and I think they do.
Incidentally, who are the 'Friends of Hawkesbury Junction'? Reminds me of an old friend who once had dinner out with a friend and enjoyed the meal enormously. Together they wrote to the local newspaper as 'The North Norfolk Dining Club', praising the restaurant and criticising another that they'd not enjoyed the previous week. The letter was published, and weeks afterwards they were receiving letters addressed to their (fictitious) club.