I was wondering the other day, about when was the exact moment I was bitten by the “old boat” bug? Undoubtedly I’d seen the two historic narrow boats Roe and Speck which were moored in Cambridge when James and I first got together and spent time with our friends on the river. But I don’t have any particularly abiding memories of seeing either of those and getting excited by them. Perhaps I didn’t even notice that they were different?
No, it was that morning in July of 2008 when a boat quite different to any I’d seen before made its way down the Cam:
Josher steamer President taken from the exact spot where Willow is now moored.
I was smitten. The romance and traditions of the historic narrow boats built to carry cargo on the canals captivated me, and by co-incidence five years later we ended up buying one of the boats which was abandoned in Northwich at the same time as President.
Willow, Holland and President Photo: John Milton