As an incurable romantic, I have spent the best part of years rescuing damsels in distress. They were all beautiful, at least to eye of this beholder. Let me tell you about just a few of my amours.
Brookfoot was the last surviving Yorkshire Keel Barge, a direct descendant of the square sail Viking ships. When I found her, she was languishing at a coal wharf in the industrial North of England. I rescued her, restored her, and sailed her through the French Canals.
The Gardner 2 LW marine engine that served as the auxiliary power for my 16-ton gaff cutter Born Free, I bought unseen: for the very good reason that she was sunk in eight foot of muddy water on the
. With the help of a diver and crane, I rescued her and spent two winters restoring her to her former glory. Bridgewater Canal
The Bolton Brow Methodist Assembly Hall is a remarkable listed building in the North of England. She was built in 1882. Denise and I found her, neglected and forlorn in 1995, when we were searching for a studio. Restoring her was a Herculean task, not least because of her huge barrel vaulted glass roof.
In comparison rescuing and restoring the Office Letter Press shown in today’s picture was child’s play. None-the-less, when “she” arrived at my workshop - en-route to the dump - a couple of weeks ago, even this Sir Lancelot doubted the feasibility of her rescue. But like all my damsels, she awoke from her sleep with the sparkle of a princess. In her new life, she’ll be pressing hand-made paper made from all kinds of fruits and grasses grown on our land.