Last year we attended the Ricky Canal Festival an integral part of which is the tug-of-war which takes place between various pairs of boats. The highlight for us was the battle between business partners John and Derek on their Stewarts & Lloyds tugs Pacific and Atlantic respectively.
It was their first such encounter and the victor was Derek on Atlantic
I am not sure how he managed to get so much fuel into the engine but it did the trick.
Last week as we were returning from a farewell dinner with Norman and Margaret - who are selling their boat and returning to Canada - we came across Atlantic in Middlewich and had a chat with Derek and Sue.
A few days ago we were moored at Kings Lock having some work done on Gecko and we were hailed by a couple on a boat waiting to ascend the lock, And lo! there were Jean and Mark on Ardanza. Haven't seen them for five years when they first moved onto the boat in Sawley Marina.
Six years ago on our first journey to the Leeds & Liverpool canal for our son's wedding we stopped a few days in Nantwich and were chatting with a chap on his boat - Dame Edith - he was waiting for his son to arrive. He came from Rochdale and knowing we were new to the L&L he sat down with us and went through's the route, marking the good and bad moorings etc. On our return from the wedding we saw him briefly on the Middlewich Arm. We did not see the boat again until three years ago when it was moored in Hapton. Tonight, just as The Archers finished on Radio Four it came past us and we dashed out to say hello. It was being driven by the son and we leaned the sad news that his father had died two years ago. He suffered a heart attack whilst preparing to enter one of the Wigan locks and fell overboard. We shall not forget the kindness he showed us