Sunday, 26 April 2020


Rachel recommended a television programme on canals  to me, so this morning, over a late breakfast I watched the first episode on iplayer.  How it brought back memories for me as it was about the section of the Trent and Mersey canal - in an area I know so very well.

For seven years, as my son was entering his teenage years, we lived in Lichfield.   Our neighbours B and J and their only daughter A, lived next door.   They became our dearest friends and I was godmother to A their only daughter.   B and J are now long gone and when A married I gave her away at her wedding.  B's passion was boats with a capital B.   And through him, for the years we lived next door, they became my then husband M's passion too.   First it was canoes, then a small sailing boat, then B built a houseboat in his garage - joined to our sitting room as all the bungalows in the cul de sac were linked.

We spent many happy hours together on the houseboat and then B built a steel-hulled narrow boat and he was really in business.   Every holiday was spent on it and often near enough for us to nip down in the car on a Sunday to see how they were enjoying life.   It coincided with the time when I was a mature student at West Midlands Training College in Walsall and he often gave me a life to college in a morning.   I always used to say that whatever we were chatting about when he drove out of his drive by the time we got to the bottom of the road the talk had turned to boats.

When 'at home' the boat was moored on the canal at Alrewas and today's episode of the canal series included Alrewas.   I have not been back since those days and what memories it brought back.

Throughout my life I have been blessed with good neighbours, all have become friends - what a difference good neighbours make. 


Traveller said...

Good neighbours make good neighbours me thinks.

Nice post

JayCee said...

That's a lovely memory of good friends and neighbours.
I have only visited Alrewas once. After my father in law died the Commando Veterans Association placed a memorial plaque in his memory in the National Memorial Arboretum there and we went to visit to see it. It was a lovely place. Our friends who have a canal boat often visit there on their journeys.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I'm very envious of folk who have houseboats, but I'm afraid I'd never be able to maintain one

Heather said...

When I was young I wanted to live on a houseboat but I have visited my daughter and son-in-law on their narrowboat, and look forward to doing so again when lockdown is over.
I have always been lucky throughout my life in having good neighbours and am still blessed with them now.

justjill said...

Something else we have in common. We lived in Burntwood just outside Lichfield when my husband began work in Birmingham. My youngest and I had toasted tea cake often in the Tudor Cafe.

Rachel Phillips said...

I am glad you enjoyed the Canal programme Weave and it brought back these happy memories for you to share today. Your boating neighbour sounds interesting and it was a good thing you were able to share that interest with him.

the veg artist said...

I've been on several canal holidays and loved them, life on the boats, the pace of life, the peace, everything. A long way from home for us, though.

Joanne Noragon said...

So good Rachel told you of that program. Loved the houseboat attached!

Cro Magnon said...

I've only been on one once, and that included going over the Llangollen aquaduct. I loved the whole holiday.

Librarian said...

When in Ripon, we always make sure to walk along the canal, and there are always narrow boats, some occupied by holiday makers and some as permanent living quarters. I have always liked the idea of a canal boat holiday, but so far have never made it, and I would not want to be responsible for the trip, instead I would happily do all the household work, cooking and cleaning, washing up and so on.
It must have been really good to watch the programme that brought back so many fond memories.

JayCee said...

We have walked across that aqueduct. Pretty scary.

Margie from Toronto said...

I've been watching "Great Canal Journeys" with Timothy West and Prunella Scales - I think there are nearly 50 episodes by now and from all over the world - it is just wonderful and so relaxing at the moment. Glad your program brought back such happy memories.

Anne Brew said...

The last two houses we’ve lived in have been the end of a row with just one neighbour. And what lovely neighbours they have been - we have been so lucky.

Anonymous said...

Hi! and a little wave from a 'Black Country' born and bred reader, raised in the Walsall area and now live in Wednesbury - glad that you are keeping your chin up Stay well and safe xx jane

The Weaver of Grass said...

I was always a bit scared of the locks but otherwise water holidays have been great. Thanks for replying.

Meanqueen said...

When I was a mere teen I used to walk or bike from my home in Burton upon Trent, along the canal, to Lichfield and back. Barton Marina wasn't there then.

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