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Regent’s Canal volunteers in Big Clean-Up grapple with dumped bike frames—but no wartime bombs this time

PUBLISHED: 13:03 06 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:02 06 June 2018

Volunteers at Mile End grapple to clear rubbish from Regent's Canal in the Big Clean-Up operation. Picture source: Canal & River Trust

Volunteers at Mile End grapple to clear rubbish from Regent's Canal in the Big Clean-Up operation. Picture source: Canal & River Trust

Canal & River Trust

Volunteers have been using grapple hooks to clear old bike frames dumped in the Regent’s Canal.

Hurling a grapple into Regent's Canal to see what comes up. Picture source: Canal & River TrustHurling a grapple into Regent's Canal to see what comes up. Picture source: Canal & River Trust

They also retrieved a motorbike exhaust and a garden spade from the water.

The operation yesterday by the Canal & River Trust, which maintains the waterway, was part of Tower Hamlets Council’s Big Clean-Up campaign that’s running all week.

The trust has cleared flotsam and jetsam in the past from the canal, including an unexploded Second World War bomb found at Mile End in 2014.

Recovered from the water, one grden spade... not exactly the right tool for a canal. Picture source: Canal & River TrustRecovered from the water, one grden spade... not exactly the right tool for a canal. Picture source: Canal & River Trust

“It’s amazing what you find sometimes,” volunteers’ team leader Ross Fogden admits. “We’re quite pleased with the amount we didn’t find this time, which shows the canal is in a good state below the water, compared to a few years ago. More people are helping us look after our waterways.”

The Canal Trust runs regular volunteering events along east London’s waterways.

Meanwhile, the local authority’s Big Clean-Up programme continues for anyone who want to take part.

It resumes today in streets around Bethnal Green Gardens from 2.30pm, then tomorrow in Westferry Road on the Isle of Dogs at 10am outside the Docklands Sailing Centre in Millwall, then St Leonard’s Priory in Bromley-by-Bow at 2pm when the mayor rolls up his sleeve to join in. Friday’s events are at Copperfield Road by Mile End Park at 10.30am and the Hollybush Estate in Bethnal Green at 2.30pm.

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