“This is my first trip on the boats. I’d like to come back . Some people might find it boring, just the changing scenery going by all the time, but that’s them. I like sitting here, watching, and relaxing.
I used to do five mile runs with bricks in my hands and then do weights in the garage….just for training. I also used to take the dog for a walk and see foxes. And we don’t do holidays much any more.
At home now I sometimes sit with the television off and look at the garden. On this trip I can look at the water and the banks and hedges. That’s my favourite bit; it’s always changing.”
James Munro Callan
Thorpe Acre Church Wednesday group
Talks about his trip on Symphony on his way for a pub lunch at Zouch
“I’m registered blind. I can see a little bit but I have to wear my special St Dunstan’s glasses to rest my eyes. I’ll be 86 in July.
I was an able seaman in the navy. I was called up and served three years. I helped the shipping convoys across the Atlantic. Then I worked in iron foundries for the railways, making parts for locomotives.
I love swimming. I learned to swim in a canal up north you know, when I was six. And I loved dancing, but my legs won’t let me any more.
What do I like about the trip on Symphony? I can see the swans; they go past slowly enough – not like the traffic on the roads. I have to be careful of the cars now. And I like the fact that I’ve nothing to do!”
“I was diagosed with MS the same week the twin towers came down. My twin towers came down too. September 2010.
“There had been signs that something was creeping up. But I didn’t connect up the dots. I had fallen out of the shower…fallen out of the patio doors. I kept tripping up on the slightest of uneven paving stones, and my daughter would say ‘Dad! Pick your feet up’.
“The doctor had diagnosed either a tumour or multiple sclerosis. I asked for a second opinion. I had to go into hospital for a week of tests. I was coming back to the ward after tests on the Tuesday when everyone was around the telly, watching the twin towers in New York. Then I got my diagnosis on the Thursday.
“I used to work in the community, setting up community credit unions.
“Now I have to have the electric chair. I can’t even write any more.
“I’ve been twice on these boats. Being outside and a free agent is the one thing I miss. And this allows me to be more of a free agent. I like the company of people. It’s about being on an outing with people, doing something different other than the mundane. It’s a bit of variety. With the illness you become a non-entity. This is a change, and you’re with people. It doesn’t have to be a big thing – just something different.”
Hinckley MS Group
10 June 2010
Today as I opened the door to their premises, Jeff was hard at work painting a full sized wooden boat. As boating is their business, I assumed that the boat was having a winter overhaul and would be back on the water this Spring. Continue reading
Last year we carried nearly 4,000 passengers of all ages (5 has been the youngest; 108 the oldest) and every disability.