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De-messing about on the water
With summer getting into gear, the team at Banbury-based contractor Pro-Clean love being on the water. Just don't tell them they're 'messing about'...
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 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 a 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," says Neil, adding "but rather than messing about we are doing the reverse!"
Neil 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.
And it's not all plain sailing: "No, the spaces are confined with restricted access and a lot of work is carried out on all fours in some areas," Neil confirms. "But we do love the work and it makes a change from crime and trauma scenes."
Yes, when they're not cleaning banquette upholstery, Neil's team find themselves in very different surroundings.
Any criminal scene or traumatic event which puts people at risk needs careful, skilled and prompt handling.
Pro-Clean 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," Neil relates.
"It varies enormously. We recently had a call from a private landlord call to deal with a house that had been used as a drug squat - we removed nearly one thousand needles from the scene along with seventy-one bin bags of rubbish.
"Another one involved cleaning a house that the deceased owner had lain undiscovered in for three weeks and more recently the bottom of a lift shaft where an unlucky lift engineer had fallen and again not been found until two weeks later."
Not surprisingly, the team go 'full CSI' with gloves, masks and suits. Prochem solutions again play an important role in the clean-ups.
Says Neil: "Very demanding cleaning jobs these ones so you really need effective solutions. Rust Remover for example is very good at dealing with blood. We do get through a lot of sanitisers."
A family business since 1989, Pro-Clean is also first port of call for many homes and businesses across Banbury, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire seeking professional cleaning with a personal touch.
"From bedsits to stately homes like Aynhoe Park, we get something different every day," laughs Neil - clearly a master of understatement!
22nd June 2017