Canal Boat - - News -

John Blunn was born in 1934 to a canal boat fam­ily work­ing for Fel­lows Mor­ton & Clay­ton; to­day he’s still boating – “I must be one of the old­est boat­men on the canals,” he says – and this is a record of his 82 years spent mainly on the cut. In the early days it was horse-boating, with sto­ries of horses bolt­ing, fall­ing in the canal, or sneak­ing off early with sacks tied around the horses’ hooves so that other boaters wouldn’t hear you get­ting ahead of them. Af­ter the war, work­ing on the mo­tor boats, he and his wife ran their open pair – with a cock­erel and a pair of hens aboard! Mov­ing off the boats for the sake of their young chil­dren, he was soon back work­ing for Bri­tish Wa­ter­ways’ pil­ing crew, bought an early Springer leisure nar­row­boat, then re­tired and toured the sys­tem. He’s still boating, with no plans to ever leave the cut.

Cock­erel’s in the Cut, John Blunn, Canal Book Shop, canal­book­, £10.95, 978-0-9955180-0-1

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