THE OWNER

Canal Boat - - The Boat Test -

ROB EDDON has spent quite a lot of his life around boats. He’s from the north-east of Eng­land and did an ap­pren­tice­ship at a ship­yard on the Tees as a marine en­gi­neer. He then worked in the mer­chant navy for six years, be­fore swap­ping to the off­shore in­dus­try, end­ing up look­ing af­ter health and safety.

As far as nar­row­boat­ing goes, Rob and Anne hired a cou­ple of times and then bought their own boat in 2010. “Anne was great on the helm,” says Rob, “so she did lots of the steer­ing, while I worked the locks.”

But Anne had been di­ag­nosed with a form of mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy called In­clu­sion Body Myosi­tis in 2006 and her con­di­tion grad­u­ally wors­ened to the ex­tent that boat­ing be­came too much for her. They sold their boat in 2013 and she died in early 2016.

Rob’s fam­ily has set up a spe­cial fund, with the back­ing of Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy UK, to raise money for re­search into the con­di­tion. Fam­ily mem­bers are hold­ing events and com­plet­ing chal­lenges to raise funds, and Rob has had mag­netic signs made for the side of the boat to raise aware­ness of the dis­ease and the fund. Aque­duct Ma­rina at Church Min­shull, where his boat was built and is moored, have adopted it as their char­ity for the year. Their Just Giv­ing page is at tinyurl.com/anneswish

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