One of Nine Lives

Early Campaigning: NarrowBoat, Spring 2015

Hugh Potter

Cécile Dorward did some pioneer cruising on her converted narrowboat Phosphorus, which she purchased from Robert Aickman and crossed Pontcysyllte Aqueduct before Rolt did on Cressy

Around 1964, Cécile Dorward booked a hire boat from Shropshire Union Cruises at Norbury, when it was run by John Stothert. John was sitting in his office one day when a head popped round the door and said in a broad Australian accent “G’day, I’ve come to see if my boat is all right”. John recalls that she was in a beat-up old Land Rover converted into a sort of Dormobile. He asked “Where’ve you come from?” and she said “Australia” so he said “No where have you come from in the Land Rover?” And she said “Australia – everyone’s been charming all the way!” That was Cécile: one of nature’s enthusiasts for life, for everything. She had indeed driven all the way across Asia and Europe. Before such motoring adventures, Cécile Dorward had been one of the early pioneers of canal cruising. At the end of World War Two she picked up a copy of the London Illustrated News and in it s…

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