Category Archives: Midlands

Brian Curry Obituary


It was an emotional time as friends and family gathered at the north portal of Harecastle Tunnel to watch long-time Stoke on Trent Boat Club member, Brian Curry, embark on his last passage through the tunnel. Brian, for many years tunnel keeper at Harecastle, passed away on 2nd November, age 72. His final journey began on nb Patricia Jean which carried his woven willow casket through the tunnel towards Bradwell Crematorium in Newcastle under Lyme, where the service was taken by Father Brian Williams, a fellow boater.
Brian’s niece Jenny had recorded his wishes for this final journey, planned whilst he was in hospital. Jenny had spent many happy times with ‘the best uncle’ on his boat and said he was happier on water than on land! He was a skilled single handed boater. Fellow club member, Dave Rushton who had known Brian for many years called him a ‘smashing bloke’ with a good sense of humour, and the nicest person. Another life-long friend said of Brian that he would do anything for anyone, and was always up for a laugh.
A wicked sense of humour helped Brian deal with some of the more awkward boaters he encountered. One lady, demanding details of the part which Brian said he was waiting for, to repair a lock, went away quite happy to learn it was the ‘giggling pin’.
Brian had many boats but perhaps the most unusual was one built from two ex-army pontoons onto which he added a cabin created from the tops of two Bedford vans! When one of his boats was sold, the new owners were forced to change the boat name; Brian had been a very early riser, and people recognising the boat but not knowing it wasn’t his now, were most unpopular when they woke the new owners for a brew at first light!
Brian Curry was a legend of the waterways in Staffordshire, and he will be sorely missed by SoTBC and all who knew him.

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Dream Pot Winner

David and Sue Botham accepting the prize from the AWCC Free Prize Draw, held at the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) National Waterways Festival (NWF) 2009, held this year at Redhill on the River Soar._9093771w

David and Sue from Chesterfield, members of Sea Otter Owners Club and Boaters Christian Fellowship (BCF), both AWCC Clubs, seen here in their boat “Amethyst” about to set off for a BCF gathering at Wolsey bridge.

The AWCC Free Prize Draw held at this years NWF as part of the AWCC exhibition stand drew many people to take part, the prize a “Dream Pot” thermal cooker (a modern version of the hay box of times past) was sponsored by the supplier Cobb Barbeques.

David and Sue will now be able to test their “Dream Pot” while cruising up the Trent & Mersey Canal.