One Month On

Well one month ago we all arrived here at Urban Moorings and what a day that was!! Had to remove a supermarket delivery trolley and a couple of chairs and assorted detritus from the arm just to get two of the boats in and moored up.

It’s a bit shallow on the canal side at present and a gang plank was needed to get on and of the third boat on that side so we decided to put all three boats in the arm to moor. Huh. Had to remove a rather large section of Haras Fencing from the cut so that we could get the boats in to side. How it got there is up to the imagination.Best buy so far —– a damn good winch!!!! You would not believe how heavy these things become when covered with silt and other rubbish that has accumulated on them. Or maybe you would.

We have had our first delivery of coal thanks to John Jackson, delivered by Pete. Very handy as the weather is becoming a bit cooler now. As we had the coal, we built a place to keep it. Makes sense really

Found some tyres that had been dumped. Well they are now, or rather come spring they will be, our herb wall. Old tyres make ideal plant containers. And our herb wall will be sitting on a bed of slate. We have found loads of it here and it makes a good base for planters.

Since arriving I think we all have possibly developed a healthy dislike of Buddleia. You could not see much on our patch as it was covered in the stuff. Buddleia if left to its own devices, is one of the most invasive and destructive plants going. It has caused damage to the remaining walls on site and possibly contributed to the deterioration and collapse of the canal bank. And it’s a beast to get rid of!!!! Now after a lot of hard work we have a good clear space and uncovered a concrete base that will be ideal for at least two sheds to go up and maybe the site office (posh shed) as well.

One of our neighbours provided us with a big old oil drum in which he had put some air holes to use as an incinerator. Let me tell you, we have put it to very good use and Buddleia burns very easily. There is also a lot of old rotten wood about which has gone to the fire as well.
Fly tipping was a possibly a problem on this site at some point. The amount of bricks, concrete and general building rubbish that is here is something to behold. But in some ways that’s not all bad. We have been clearing, cleaning and reusing some of the bricks and slabs to make some very serviceable and interesting pathways through our site. This is a work in progress and fits very nicely with the ethos of recycling/reusing materials.

The compost bin, well two pallets that will be covered with old coal bags and supported with wood found on site, is also coming along. There are some mature trees on the site that we intend to keep. They need a bit of TLC but generally they are not in too bad shape. Some careful pruning will be needed over winter whilst the sap is down and before the birds begin nesting. We have not one, but two Rowan trees on site which is a bonus.

Apart from all that, there have been the runs out to Broad Street services for water and a trip into Birmingham to fill up with diesel, and have dinner out so all the ‘domestic’ things have been done as well.

Yes, it’s going to take time and a lot of work to get Urban Moorings up and running as we want, but we all knew that at the start.

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