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Saturday July 20 2019

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In Full . . .

Memories of our friend Robin

Posted on April 29 2019 at 1:26:04

robin

In answer to the query (Remembering Robin, Village Views, January 2019), the bench at Alvechurch Marina is indeed in memory of our dear departed friend Robin Walden, as is the apple tree alongside The Weighbridge pub.

There is also a carved wooden plaque on the corner of the pub saying: “The apple tree opposite was planted by Aelfgythe Border Morris in memory of Robin Walden 12th February 1935 – 19th December 2011, much loved and missed.”

Robin became very well known on the canal with his boat, Greylag. He used to be the licensee of The Bell pub in Northfield, prior to working for Alvechurch Boat Centre, but he was initially a draughtsperson by trade.

He eventually lived on Greylag and not only worked at the boat yard, particularly with seasonal handovers, but acted as security for the place as he was always there or in The Weighbridge.

His then partner, Joyce Frederick, also lived on the boat and between them they cruised many of the local waterways and attended various rallies and events. It was Robin who started the now-annual “booze cruise” from Alvechurch to The Hopwood pub every Boxing Day.

Robin used to help anybody and everybody. He used to receive all the local coal orders from the narrowboat Roach, which delivered along the canal, and then arrange collection.

He sharpened chainsaws and was an expert on herbs and fungi, particularly alongside the canal. He was also a water diviner.

He loved music and had even cruised down to Cropedy for the folk festival there. Robin also spent time at work camps with the IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group. There is so much more to tell about Robin.

He started to suffer ill-health around 2010. Towards the latter part of 2011 he was due to go into hospital, but unfortunately did not get there.

He passed away on December 10, 2011 and was found by some of the ABC people on board Greylag, sitting in a chair with a glass of whisky alongside. Robin was 76 years old and needless to say his passing was a big shock to many people.

Robin’s funeral service took place at the Robin Hood Crematorium and the wake was of course at The Weighbridge, with a collection taken in aid of the Waterway Recovery Group.

Robin’s ashes were scattered on the somewhat frozen canal opposite the boat yard where he had spent so much time.

The idea of a commemorative bench was decided upon, and his friends Aimee and Martyn arranged for it to be constructed by a rustic oak company.

Robin’s old boat was eventually sold and was last seen on the Northern Stratford Canal out towards Lapworth.

John Hemingway, Alvechurch


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