After picking up three awards, proud Aqueduct Marina owner Robert Parton revels in his passion for waterways
Why Aqueduct Marina’s Robert Parton can be found staring out of his office window!
1 What first attracted you to the waterways? Three years of family canal boat holidays in the mid-1980s, Llangollen and back, the Four Counties Ring, and the Canal du Midi in France.
2 Which is your favourite waterway? The Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union. It has always been there on our doorstep, as I have lived in Church Minshull all my life.
3 What do the waterways have to offer the country? Leisure mixed with history.
4 How did you come own and run Aqueduct Marina and how long have you been there? It is home and we built it as a diversification from a dairy farm. The marina has been here eight years and I have lived here since 1989.
5 What do you like most about your job? The view from my office window.
6 And is there anything you don’t like? Yes, bills and boating politics!
7 How did it feel to win the Marina of the Year award? Very pleasantly surprised and flattered to have all the hard work by staff recognised by a popular vote.
8 Which waterway would you most like to see reopened? The waterway I would like to see used more is the River Weaver, anyone for an inclined plane between the Middlewich Branch and Winsford Flash at the south end of the navigable Weaver?
9 Tell us about your boating experience… It is much greater than it was eight years ago but still plenty to learn. As my wife will vouch, I am not a DIY expert or engineer.
10 What is your proudest achievement? Building a great team of people who represent our values of community, innovation and being proactive.
11 Have you ever fallen in? Not yet.
12 What are you reading? Bill Bryson, The Road to Little Dribbling
13 Who would be your ideal cruising companion? Alex Ferguson to talk sport and success, Kylie Minogue for obvious reasons but my wife Andrea and family would top both of them.
14 What’s the best time of day to be on the waterways? I am a morning person, so dawn at any time of year.
15 What did you want to be aged 12? A farmer.
16 What other interests do you have? Watching any sport, I have a season ticket at Old Trafford, going to the gym, playing tennis, Pilates and Yoga, Friday night networking in The Badger, or a good book. I seem to be on a few committees, school, British Marine and Cheshire East council.
17 What do you think of people on the waterways? You just think you have seen every type of person and you meet a new one. It is the amazing range that never ceases to amaze me.
18 What do you hope to be doing when you’re 70? Enjoying myself but still living in or near Church Minshull.
19 Where would your dream cruise be to? Anywhere as long as the weather is good. I would like to visit the Northern Cape.
20 What superpower would you most like to have? I would be the Time Lord Dr Who to see the future and stop the clock now and again.
Aqueduct Marina in Church Minshull has landed Five Gold Anchors and customer awards