The People

The crews came primarily from three sources: The Salford University Inland Waterways Society, the Newcastle University Town Planning course and, later,  North Manchester branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra). The contact between all three groups was Duncan Roberts, who was at Salford, had been to school with Richard Atkinson of the Newcastle planners and was later a Camra member in Manchester. Not all participants were members of one of these groups but they all had a contact with somebody who was.

The first trip was mainly a Salford affair, but from the winter trip of  1973-4, through the contact between Duncan and Richard there was sufficient interest from Newcastle for them to arrange a their own boat and a “Salford” and a “Newcastle” boat became standard features of  all the new year trips after that, except  1974-5 when they went their separate ways.

By the early ‘eighties interest from the original participants was waning and was predominantly Salford-based. In order to attract enough people to make it viable efforts were made, again through Duncan, to attract interested parties from Camra. The proportion of Camra participants gradually increased and there was at least one spring trip after 1984 that attracted solely Camra people and is not recorded here. (It could be if information were available).

Here are brief notes on the crews,  who they were, their connections with the boats, the trips they came on and, where known, where they are now. They are far from comprehensive but will be added to as information becomes available.  I have information on most of the 66 known participants. At least two are, sadly, deceased but many of us are still in touch with other participants from those days.  The trips have been responsible for at least three present-day couples getting together and, most of those who came as couples are still together. Several people went on to own their own narrowboats and they, and others, continue to have an interest in boating and the waterways.

Dave Armstrong –  Salford University. Only recorded on the 1980 trip. Now living in Liverpool.

Linda Atkinson  –  Richard’s wife. Only came on the trip to Oxford on Bainton. Now living  in Gnosall near the Shropshire Union Canal.

Richard Atkinson – Newcastle planner. School friend of Duncan Roberts and thus part of the connection between the Salford and Newcastle elements.  Now living in Gnosall near the Shropshire Union Canal.

Steve Bacon –  Salford University. Boyfriend and later husband of Heather Conway. Was on  “Seal” and the New Year trips in 1972/3 and 1973/4.  Now living in Royal Wootton Basset, Wiltshire and retired and active in the restoration of the Wilts & Berks Canal His daughter owns the former  shared-ownership boat “Twelfth of Never”.

Christine Bailey – Girlfriend of Steve Greenfield. On Newcastle boat. Not the same person as:

Christine Bailey (no relation) – Came on the 1980 trip. May have been a former girlfriend of Phil Swann.

Keith Bailey  – (no relation)

Keith Bailey 1974

Friend of Jim Davies at Salford.  Was on Seal in 1972 and also came for New Year’s Eve at Tipton in 1975/6. Blamed feeling ill the next day on “That hot-dog I ate at Oldbury bus station”. Now living on the Isle of Lewis.





Linda Barr. Newcastle planner. Came in 1974/5,  1975/6 and one night in 1979. Now living (as Linda Schindler) at Astwood Bank, Worcestershire.

Susie van Bergen – Newcastle planner. Moved to London after graduating.

Annette Birch – Friend of Hilary Smith. Now living in Hebden Bridge

Ken Birch (no relation) – Camra member and on some of the later trips. Owned his owned boat for a while in the 1990s(?). Living in Manchester.

Martin Bird  – One of the Newcastle Town Planners. Now living in Suffolk.

Ian Brown  – Newcastle planner. Boyfriend and later husband of Suzanne.  Living in Hull

Suzanne Brown (nee Wood) – Girlfriend and later wife of Ian. Schoolfriend of Hilary Smith. Living in Hull.

Jon Bore – Came on 1979 trip for one week. Now a planning inspector in London.

John Boyce – Founder member of revived Salford University Inland Waterways Soc. Only recorded on 1971-2 trip.

Ian Boyle  –  Now living in Billericay

Margaret Boyle – Now living in Billericay

Jem Callaghan – Camra member.  Former husband of Sue.  Came in 1976/7

Sue Callaghan –  Camra member. Formerly Jem’s wife. Came in 1976/7.  Later married Neil Richardson. Now widowed and living in Stoneclough, near Radcliffe, Lancs.

Pete Cash – Camra member. Sister of Margaret Balham. Living in Salford.

Pete Challis: Salford Inland Waterways Soc. Sally’s husband.  Now living in Yelverton, Leics.

Sally Challis (nee Bird):  Salford University.  Pete’s wife.  Now living in Yelverton, Leics.

Penny Clover: John Boyce’s girlfriend. Believed to be involved with “Friends of President” (steam narrowboat). 

Heather Conway:  Was on the 1973/4 trip. Girlfriend and later wife of Steve Bacon. Now living in Royal Wootton Basset, Wiltshire

Clive Coole – Friend of Mike Piet. Was on Newcastle boat in 1974/5, 1975/6, 1979 and 1980. Now living in Cambridge.

Mary Davidson – On Newcastle boat in 1974/5 and one of the people from Chichester introduced by Mike Piet. Girlfriend of Alan Green?

Jim Davies –

Jim Davies 1973


Founder member of revived Salford Inland Waterways Soc. in 1970.  Schoolfriend of Duncan Roberts. On all winter trips and usually on at least part of Spring trips (except 1979).  Had own boat “Starcross” from 2004 to 2014 and also boats on Kris and Bernard’s “Sunshine” occasionally. Now living in Lancaster with Hilary Smith. Author of this blog.



Mark Doran –

Mark Doran 1975

Salford University Inland Waterways Soc. On most trips.  Now living in Oxford and retired after a career on the railways.





Matt Drummond –  Camra member and therefore on the later trips. Now living in Congleton.

Gas Engineers –  At least two members of the Gas Engineering course at Salford came on the Easter 1972 and possibly other trips. Names now forgotten.

David Evans Known as “Dai Evz”  Friend of Duncan Roberts. Came on most trips from 1976 onwards. Now a liveaboard boater and continuously cruising in summer with a winter mooring at Foxhangers, Kennet & Avon Canal.

Angie Ford – was on the Newcastle boat in 1974/5 and 1976/6

Alan Green – On Newcastle boat in 1974/5. One of the people from Chichester introduced by Mike Piet. Boyfriend of Mary Davidson.

Steve Greenfield – On Newcastle boat – not one of the Newcastle Planners. Boyfriend of Christine Bailey. Was on all trips from 1973/4 to 1976/7. Died 2012 after a lengthy illness.

Ken Harrop


Ken Harrop 1983

– Newcastle planner. Was on most trips from 1973/4 onwards. Now living in Wolverhampton. Boated several times with Jim Davies during the time he owned Starcross (2004-14). Still in touch with Jim and Duncan Roberts.





“Doc” Holliday – Salford Inland Waterways Society. Only on one or two early trips. Turned up at Tardebigge to see the 1972 Easter trip off. Catch phrase: “I get all my jokes from the back of a match box”.

Nick Holt. was on the Newcastle boat in 1973/4 and one of the Newcastle planners. Later became a vicar?

John Hopkins – Lily’s brother. Came for a few days on the 1980 trip. Now a retired GP and living in Brampton, Cumberland.

Lily Hopkins


Lily Hopkins 1983

Newcastle planner. John’s sister. Came on most trips until at least 1980. Retired and living in Brampton, Cumberland.





Angela Jones – friend of David Evans. Only on the 1984 trip.

Bernard Jordan

Bernard (capture)
Bernard in 2010

Boyfriend and now husband of Kris Brook who was at Salford University. Shared a house with Kris and Gwen Trippett in Patricroft. Friend of Jim Davies. Came on most of the early trips. Now has own boat (with Kris) “Sunshine” based at Pilling’s Lock, Leicester Section.   Living near Leicester.

Kris Jordan (nee Brook) 

Kris Brook 1972

Friend of Jim Davies at Salford. Boyfriend and later husband of Bernard. Came on most of the early trips. Now has own boat (with Bernard) “Sunshine” based at Pilling’s Lock, Leicester Section.  Living near Leicester.




Colin Kennington: Friend of Duncan Roberts. Came in 1983 now living in Bolton-le-Sands near Lancaster.

Hugh Mowat –

Hugh Mowat 1975

Founder member of revived Salford University Inland Waterways Society in 1970. Came on most trips certainly up to about 1981. Husband of Jeanette. Now living in Knaresborough.

Jeanette Mowat – Hugh’s wife. Only recorded on the 1981 Oxford trip. Now living in Knaresborough.

Phil Pearson  – Friend (work colleague?) of Duncan Roberts. Came in at least 1982 and 1984. Now living in Leigh.

Mike Piet – Newcastle planner. Came on all trips 1972 to 1983. Introduced several people from Chichester to the trips during his year there in 1974/5. Lived in  Blackpool until 1986 and now in Leeds as a “semi-retired leisure consultant”. Has contributed much information to this record.

Harold Pugh – Friend of Bernard Jordan.  From Brecon and had attended the Royal National College for the Blind which Jim Davies later lived opposite. Came on a couple of trips. Died unexpectedly immediately after the 1976-7 trip whilst staying with Sue and Neil Richardson.

John Radcliffe – was on the Newcastle boat in 1976/6

Duncan Roberts

Duncan Roberts 1974

Duncan Roberts 1974

Salford University Inland Waterways Society. Was at school with Jim Davies and, separately, Richard Atkinson. Duncan was the connection between Salford and Newcastle and also with Camra and despite having been at Salford was often on the Newcastle boat. Until recently regularly went boating other people’s boats as member of  his local Boat Club and occasionally Kris and Bernard’s”Sunshine” Now living in Mossley, Lancs. Has contributed much information to this record.

Neil Richardson – Camra member and later husband of Sue Callaghan. Died after a short illness in 2006 and had his obituary published in The Guardian.

Charlie Ross – was on the Newcastle boat in 1974/5 and 1977/8. A friend of Graham Yard.

Dave Schindler. One of the Chichester people introduced by Mike Piet. Now married to Linda Schindler (nee Barr) and living in Astwood Bank, Worcestershire.

Hilary Smith  – On Newcastle boat. Schoolfriend of Suzanne Wood.  Provided many photos and crew lists for 1973/4 to 1980. Now living with Jim Davies in Lancaster.

Phil Swann – Friend of Ken Harrop. Was on the 1979 trip and perhaps others? Now living in Finchley, London.

Mike Tedstone – Now living in Swinton.

Bob Telfer. Friend of Duncan Roberts and Jim Davies. Came on 1983 trip. Now living in Sheffield.

John Tidy –  Pat Tidy’s brother. Only came in 1979.  Friend of Ken Harrop

Pat Tidy –  John’s sisterFriend of Ken HarropCame in 1979 and 1981. Last heard of in Trowbridge.

Gwen Tordoff (nee Trippett). Shared a house with Kris Brook and Bernard Jordan in Patricroft.  Came on all the early trips.  Husband of Martin Tordoff. Now living in Kendal

Martin Tordoff – Salford University. Husband of Gwen. Came on several trips in the early to mid-seventies. Extracts from his diary for two trips are included on the relevant pages. Now living in Kendal.

Margaret Worthington  – Camra member.  Pete Cash’s sister. Now Margaret Balham, widowed and living in Swinton, Lancs.

Grahame Yard – Newcastle planner  now living in Australia

and a few for which I only have first names.

Andy – On Elm in 1972

Mike – on Elm in 1972

Nigel – On Elm in 1972

Jill ? – Martin Bird’s girlfriend

Jill – On Elm in 1972

There was also someone on the first trip who went home after a few days because “When you’ve seen one field you’ve seen them all!”


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