After years of neglect, Britain’s canals have been brought back to life with more of us than ever taking to the water whether for leisure, a life afloat, or even just a towpath walk and a pint. This resurgence in interest has also seen returning good fortune for marina owners, agents, chandlers, and narrowboat hire providers like Calcutt Boats in Warwickshire.
Located at Napton Junction, where the Grand Union and Oxford Canals meet, the 40 year old company operates a hire fleet of 15 narrowboats. Around 6ft wide and up to 60ft long, and with the whole family on board, they can get grubby very quickly on a wet day. Which is why, last summer, Calcutt asked Pro-Clean over to clean the boat interiors. What started as a one-off clean has now grown into a regular trip to the marina for Pro-Clean’s Neil Webber and his team, with up to six vessels cleaned each week.
“The customer used to clean the boats themselves but the extractor being used was taking them three times longer than we found we could achieve with our equipment using Prochem chemicals, so now we are canal regulars,” said Neil Webber, who cites Prochem solutions as the perfect package for the job. “We use Trafficlean for carpets - which are on the walls as well as the floor! - along with Neutra-Soft, Urine Neutraliser and Fibre Shampoo. The spaces are confined with restricted access and a lot of work is carried out on all fours in some areas. But we do love the work and it makes a change from crime and trauma scenes.”
Pro-Clean also provides a professional, discreet trauma cleaning service throughout Oxfordshire and the West Midlands, as well as across the UK. “We got into the business in 2013 and, after a three-day training course with the National Association of Crime Scene Cleaners in Bristol, began to take on projects of our own along with work on the association’s behalf,” said Webber. “It varies enormously. We recently had a call from a private landlord to deal with a house that had been used as a drug squat - we removed nearly 1000 needles from the scene along with 71 bin bags of rubbish.”
Not surprisingly, the team go ‘full CSI’ with gloves, masks and suits. Prochem solutions again play an important role in the clean-ups: “Very demanding cleaning jobs…need effective solutions. Rust Remover, for example, is very good at dealing with blood. And we do get through a lot of sanitisers.”