Canal writer takes to the water
FIRST IT WAS the canal Poet Laureate. Next it was artists in residence on the Welsh and Scottish waterways. Now, the latest link between the waterways network and the arts is the appointment of author, photographer and broadcaster Jasper Winn as the first ‘Writer in Residence’ for the Canal & River Trust, who aims to spend two years building up material for a book of “captivating stories behind life on the canals”.
From a background of three decades’ travel including roller-skating through Holland, sheep-herding his way around Morocco, and – perhaps more relevantly – canoeing Mike Palmer MBE, Chairman of WRG, said “Thank you to everyone who has donated, and to everyone who has taken part in the amazing fundraising activities.”
With £13,000 still left to raise, WRG hopes to have the other two vans for next year. the Danube, Mr Winn aims to continue his journeying by covering the canal network on everything from a traditional canal boat to a stand-up paddle board. “I’m looking forward to exploring the corridors of wilderness and the cities’ hidden waterways in all their diversity,” he enthuses.
The result in the short term will be a monthly blog on canalrivertrust.org.uk, as part of CRT’s two-year Arts on the Waterways initiative; for the longer term, his book aims to be “a classic account of Britain’s canals and their culture and wildlife” as well as reflecting the author’s “passion for the quirkier side of canal life”.