A TEAM of disabled volunteers showed they cared when they stepped in to clean up a vandalised sculpture tribute to the Titanic on Dudley No. 2 Canal.
Two members of Green Team Dudley were appalled to see Who cares scrawled across the artwork telling the story of how the infamous liner’s 15.5 ton anchor was made by Hingley’s, the world famous chainmakers who were based in Dudley for 150 years.
The adults with learning difficulties immediately set about cleaning up the graffiti and repainting the informative landmark, which is one of 15 by artist Luke Perry along the five-mile stretch of canal from Parkhead to Bumble Hole.
“It’s an absolute disgrace what the vandals did to our heritage and an insult to the families of the 1,500 passengers who drowned,” said June Hodgetts of Dudley Canal Trust Trips.
The Titanic sank in the south Atlantic after hitting an iceberg on April 15, 1912, while on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
June added: “The Dudley canal network is a much-loved recreational facility in the town
“It is steeped in the history of the area’s industrial past, and the sheer number of visitors it receives shows that many people really do care about it.”
Green Team Dudley, who have a long-standing partnership with the Dudley Canals Trust and are based at the Pump House in Peartree Lane, Dudley, have 20 disabled people on their books who help on many community projects including keeping the canal clean and tidy.
One of their support workers, Wendy Bourne, said: “It’s a good job my volunteers take more pride in our area than those heartless vandals who should be ashamed of what they did.”
Their work, and that of the Dudley Canals Trust in maintaining the local canal network, is being highlighted with free one-hour boat trips between 11am and 4pm this weekend and next weekend organised by the trust and Groundwork West Midlands.
On Saturday, August 31 trips will run from Coombeswood Canal Trust Hawne Basin. For more information call Chris Leech on 0121 530 5525.
Chainmakers N?Hingley and Sons, which was set up by Noah Hingley in 1837 in Netherton, manufactured anchors for many liners including the Lusitania. A replica of the Titanic anchor stands in the old market place in the town and there’s a sculpture of the anchor at the junction of Castleton Street and Halesowen Road.
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