IF YOU LOOK up biographical details about Lord and Lady Trimble, you’ll find a long list of political achievements. David was leader of the Ulster Unionist Party for ten years from 1995, and helped negotiate the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998. He was the first First Minister of Northern Ireland, between 1998 and 2002, an MP for 15 years, and a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for nearly ten. He was made a Life Peer in 2006.
Lady Trimble has served on the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, and on the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. She unsuccessfully stood for Parliament in 2010.
But throughout all this time, they’ve also enjoyed escaping to the waterways. They first hired a boat in 1998, once their youngest daughter was old enough, at six. “She resented wearing a lifejacket, though!” recalls David. They continued to hire every couple of years.
When he lost his seat at the 2005 General Election (“the electorate decided I was ready for a rest”, he says, adding that they were probably right), they used the Commons equivalent of a redundancy payment towards buying their
– own boat. In recent years, the couple have managed many extended cruises, spending eight or ten weeks of the Parliamentary summer recess on board. They’ve twice been to the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham by boat, making the most of a free mooring in the city centre, while other attendees were stung by inflated hotel prices...
opposite side of the boat, there’s another small unit. Job done David and Phill