Recognising the need to play a part in a much needed programme of cleaning up our waters and surrounding countryside, this week I’m again finding myself in awe of the massive role that committee members of St Helens Angling Association are once again playing.
As a regular on Carr Mill Dam, a venue that is used by both locals and visitors, I appreciate we all get a great deal of satisfaction from the wonderful wildlife and fauna that is presented to us, thanks that is to the voluntary work behind the scenes carried out by St Helens AA bailiffs.
A job that always stands to be applauded.
Discarded doggy bags, piles of litter and hundreds of plastic water bottles are a just a few items that are always on the menu for bailiffs, however this week on top of the usual everyday litter we’ve unfortunately become aware of as an everyday expectation, this week bailiffs on another St Helens water not so far away, they’ve tackled a greater obstacle in respect of cleaning up one of the best canals for fishing in the Northwest.
The Sankey St Helens Canal flowing through the heart of St Helens is a water that has a wealth of history.
Built in the mid 1700’s to essentially transport coal from the Haydock and Parr Collieries to the growing chemical industries of Liverpool, this canal was noted as being at forefront of establishing the industrial growth throughout our region. Iron ore, corn and sugar were also important cargoes as the industries expanded throughout Merseyside but with the decline of the sugar transportation by the late 1950’s, the canal closed in 1963.
Interestingly these town lengths were once notably warmed by the Pilkington glass factory waters which ‘gushed’ into it and fondly remembered by many of the older generation anglers as the ‘Hotties’, it’s these lengths, rich with fish and still very much a favourite with many anglers on Merseyside that have seen a fantastic volunteer work party upon it this week.
Spending a weekend clearing a venue up in one’s spare time isn’t a task many people would relish and the huge effort by St Helens AA volunteers saw a huge heap of rubbish which included bicycles,
shopping trolleys, plastics and of course litter was successfully piled and bagged. On a downside local youths fuelled with alcohol on Sunday afternoon soon took it upon themselves to throw everything recovered back into the water.
After police were notified work began again and the rubbish was successfully removed and what a job they did making this wonderful canal a brighter place to be.
Hopefully St Helens council will recognise the work carried out and assist in any way to remove any recovered debris in the future.
On the bank itself Aintree’s Jeff Stirrat took the top honours in a tough match on the Wigan AA length of canal at Parbold on Sunday. Pegged on the end of the dog kennels Jeff (LAS) took just two skimmers and a 1lb of roach for 3.7.0. That was enough to see off team mate Paul Kennels who put together 2.13.0 for second place.