90th birthday wish granted

A special birthday wish to get back on the water was achieved for a former boat craftsman thanks to the kind efforts of his care home and Chichester Canal Trust.

Bob Hosking was able to celebrate his 90th birthday in true style with a canal boat trip from the Canal Basin. Bob is a resident at Dovecote View care home, in Westhampnett. The home has a wishing tree where residents can add their ideas, and staff do their best to make them happen. 

Bob was a long-standing former volunteer at the Canal and he was thrilled to be granted his wish for a cruise there. An extra bonus was a fish and chip lunch donated by La Fish in honour of the special occasion.

Koral at Dovecote View said: “we were delighted that the Canal Trust could offer this trip for Bob and a few family members, to celebrate his 90th birthday”

Yoddi, owner of LA Fish said: “We had heard what a special event it was and as a local company we love to help in community situations”.

Canal Trustee, Dorothy Cox, was on board to answer questions about the canal and two volunteers from the Canal media team were on hand to record the event.

Bob has had a long association with “all things to do with sailing and boats”. He spent most of his working life involved with either building or surveying them. He gained an inland waterways boat master licence, performed safety surveys of traditional sailing ships, and worked at Watercraft in Shoreham devising safety equipment for vertical drop lifeboats used by oil rigs. He was a keen sailor himself,  owning a number of boats and designing and building his own racing dinghy.  Linda Kelsall-Barnett, his niece, said “Uncle Bob inspired my love of the water and sailing, and this trip is so appropriate for him”.

Bob’s wife, Janice, thanked everyone who had made the day so special. And Bob added “I have very fond memories of the Canal…. 10 out of 10 for the skipper who gave us all a smooth ride today!”

Photos by David Richardson

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