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