It's all British Waterways fault!

In 1984 I went to work for British Waterways Board in their Watford HQ, looking after the pension schemes for the employees and in 1985, we hired a BWB narrowboat, taking Kirsty & Lindsay on a 7 day holiday - which is how it all began.

We took the boat from Gayton to Market Harborough and back; if asked, the girls will say it was one of their best holidays which is rather surprising as we had rain as well as sunshine and Lindsay was certainly too little to do anything at the locks. One claim to fame of the holiday was that Ian got sea sick within about 30 minutes of being on board - he insists that his lunch had been 'off'.

A few years later we took Lindsay and Joanna from next door on a cruise out of Leighton Buzzard over Easter. Getting back on board one morning, after taking the dogs ashore for their morning relief, I slipped and hit the side of my head very hard - a lot of blood flowed and I am left with a scar right the way across the top of my ear. After that trip we didn't go cruising for some time, but it wasn't due to the accident.

In 1997 we hired a Vikings Afloat boat for Easter with friends Des & Liz and their friends, Liz & Alan. We did the Stourport Ring that time and thoroughly enjoyed it, Birmingham from the canal was very different to driving round the city. The Vikings Afloat boat had a comfortable layout and with 6 of us on board wasn't too crowded - just a shame about the colour!

Although we remained interested in the canals, we didn't take any more canal holidays for some time. We day-dreamed about having our own narrowboat - but thought that was all it would ever be.

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