As I noted last week, after quite some time parted, Bob the fish is now back in his rightful place, as the focal point of the recently erected fisherman sculpture by the canal bridge in Walsall Wood. Originally suspended by a line anchored at the fisherman’s reel, the new repair sees the fallen fish suspended on a short length of steel rope, crimped into loops at either end, attached to the sculpture by shackle bolts.
This method of attachment clearly defeats the previous technique employed to catch the coppery carp, but it seems a little bodged to me. Whilst the shackle at the fishes’ nose is wired closed, to prevent it loosening by precession, the upper fastener is awkwardly fitted through the eyelet at the tip of the rod. The upper wire loop is threaded over the body of the shackle, and causes it to hang at an unnatural angle. The upper threaded closure pin isn’t wired closed like it’s lower counterpart. Furthermore, the entire weight of the pendant is now concentrated on the tip of Rodney’s pole, causing the whole assembly to jerk and spin in even the lightest of breezes. Studying the oscillation at some length, it would seem that in a high wind, the structural integrity of the artwork will be severely tested. One wonders about the effects of metal fatigue and wear on the fasteners, welds and eyelets.
It was good to note that at some point in the last week, the council have removed the graffiti from the main column, although the metallic angler is now surrounded by an abandoned fishing chair and a quantity of discarded beer cans. I suspect that the weather may beat the vandals to the challenge of liberating Bob the fish a second time, so I’d respectfully advise any frequent boaters, dog walkers or anglers finding themselves in the immediate vicinity to take the precaution of investing in a hard hat.