Wednesday, May 02, 2007


About a mile and a half from here, deep in the woods where me and the dachshund sometimes stroll in search of our respective muses, the forestry commission, or Forest Enterprise as they like to be called these days, have built a short spur on the track for logging trucks to turn around in. Last weekend it was partially blocked with this:

used car anyone?

It's the front end of a small Peugeot, a 107 or maybe 206. Quite a new car from what I can tell. It's been carefully cut in half, all the useful bits removed like wings, bonnet, engine and drivetrain. Then someone's gone to all the trouble of bringing out here to the middle of nowhere and setting it on fire.

I can't understand this. Five years ago, the bottom had fallen out of the scrap metal market, and you had to pay a fortune to get old cars towed away. But today, with China clamouring for raw materials and the small matter of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, you can get a reasonable price for old steel. Our neighbour, who no longer leaves his lights on all night because he's actually moved the the Shetlands,* was forever stripping down old cars and then trailering the metal bits to the Black Country where they'd pay him cash by the tonne. And even if a scrap merchant needed money to take this hunk of metal away, it would surely have been less than the cost of transporting it here. The nearest place it could have been cut up is fifteen miles away, and it's far more likely to have come from farther afield.

We have a tradition of burnt-out cars in the forest around here. Usually they appear round about Rally time, and are either genuine rally cars which have had unfortunate accidents, or joy-riders from Birmingham and Wolverhampton who steal cars, bring them to mid Wales and pretend to be Colin McRae for the afternoon. When they've finally had enough, or the car's ended up inextricably stuck in a ditch, they torch it and go home. Every so often, the Forestry Commission send a big truck in to clean them all up, then the cycle begins again.

But this poor heap of burnt metal is not a boosted rally car, nor is it remotely intact. It's probably been stolen, stripped of its parts, cut into chunks relatively easy to transport, and then dumped in various locations. It still has its chassis plate, so any keen detective would be able to identify it easily enough.

Ah, I seem to have answered my own question here.

* It's true, mad bugger that he is. I don't know why he chose to go so far away. Don't think it was anything I did.

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Blogger Sibadd said...

I know Flickr can be a pain but would you consider posting the car carcase image and your blog comments at International Flytipping?
How long did it take to find your pace in blogging - it being such a novel thing still, part public part private, what a friend calls narrowcasting.

May 26, 2007 7:11 am  
Blogger JamesO said...

I think I managed to post that picture to your group, Sibbad. I'll post others as I take them - people dump all sorts of rubbish in the woods around here.

As for blogging, I've been doing it for about three years now, and it's a great deal cheaper than therapy.

May 26, 2007 4:34 pm  

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