Why I’m addicted to the Royal Canal

A few nights ago I had the privilege of listing to the inimitable Dick Warner chat about his love for the Royal Canal. I felt honoured to have been invited in the first place… me? The rookie canal walker? Why would you want me there? Simple, said MF… you‘ll get to meet some of the IWAI Dublin branch members, you‘ll get to listen to an authority and a Irish legend. True.

A short stroll along the Grand Canal to the venue and just for a change I arrived first. “Where do you think you’re going?” Asked the publican when I wanted to climb the set of stairs to what I supposed would be the first floor meeting place. There’s no one there… well, within minutes a tall, rather distinguished looking fellow arrived and the publican turned his attention to his new, more familiar guest. They disappeared up the very same stairs I had attempted to ascend only minutes before.

There I stood at the bar… like a lost bit of expelled air in the proverbial thunderstorm. Worst of all… the disappeared publican had left me empty-handed and thirsty. Drat, it was past seven and here I stood in one of Dublin’s landmarks… unattended and parched. The matter was soon rectified. The newly returned host happily informed me that I could rise to a higher elevation… the room upstairs was now in operation. I followed his advice, only after arming myself with a much desired pint of the black stuff.

Soon the folk started arriving. The first person I recognised was number 4 up the stairs. MF, one of the organisers made his entrance, soon to be followed by other members of the Dublin Branch, MK, JC, of Rambler fame… the stars were gathering for what appeared a fine red carpet showing of waterway’s elite.

The numbers swelled… I recognised a lady’s face. Ruth Delaney, a waterways expert and author of note. The J&BT arrived. We chatted briefly about work and boats. JC had taken the Rambler’s motor apart… I joked about taking a photo of the old girl blowing smoke-rings. The banter levels increased all the while as the room filled up rapidly. Folk from far and wide, even a lad from Norway.

MF introduced the star of the night. Dick Warner spoke for more than an hour. With total ease. He spoke with an inner conviction about the joys of spending time on and along the Royal Canal… of his memories and of the quaint little villages, pubs and buildings along the way. He highlighted the great work done by local groups like the RCAG as well as the ceaseless work of the Waterways Ireland fixers and menders.

Throughout his chat, I’ll refrain from calling it a speech, a slideshow was playing in the background. Showing views and scenes along the canal that are now familiar to me. It is great listening to the veritable specialist when you yourself have an inkling of why there’s a passion. It’s great to say you share some of that passion, even just a tad… but it is also great to hear a legend speak while some of your images are flashed on the screen beside the speaker!

Look who's chatting... Dick Warner (standing) presents... but... I recognise that image... 😉

PS – The photo will win no awards… difficult enough to see in the low light, but… I had to get something with Dick Warner and one of my images… the Inny Aqueduct…

PSS – My only regret? Having to dash for the train and not being able to share in some of the after presentation banter. Although I got to shake the man’s hand on two occasions now I have yet to share a few words with him.

PSSS – For those of you who attach any merit to this sort of thing… Happy Leaped Year! 😛 May you enjoy many more!!!

About aj vosse

Love life, live love... share life... share love!
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10 Responses to Why I’m addicted to the Royal Canal

  1. restlessjo says:

    I give in! I’m going to have to follow you to stop myself from getting lost in your blog and never finding my way out again. Is this how you entrap all your readers? 🙂 And I still don’t know where the hell you hail from.

    Like

    • aj vosse says:

      Wow… I’m impressed! Long time since I’ve had such a captive audience! 😉

      Welcome on board… or, should that be welcome aboard? Lost? The sub heading says it all… almost… I’m from Cork… very, very far south Cork… 😉

      On 12 April 2013 20:47, Ouch!! My back hurts!!

      Like

  2. Firefly says:

    Pity you couldn’t stay longer, but its always a good thing to expand ones knowledge about the things you love.

    Like

  3. Gaelyn says:

    What a great opportunity for you. Too bad you didn’t have more time for networking. Next time. Had to feel good to see your images there.

    Like

  4. 031b says:

    Morning Vossie…..that was Ian Bath sitting alongside Ruth. Co-author of the books in the Ruth Delaney link, founder of the RCAG, longtime IWAI member and a legend in his own right. And then you had JT, current President of the HBA on the other side of you….and the legendary Saffer in the middle….!!
    Sorry we did’nt get to talk….on duty and all that. Hope you don’t mind the Newry/Portadown branch using some of your pics when Dick gives them a talk in a couple of weeks…??

    M(W&W)F

    Like

    • aj vosse says:

      Hi Mick,

      I thought they were rather a dignified bunch…
      I was going to answer you on the photo’s query… I just think there are quite a few more good ones that can be included in the slide show… I was going to suggest I forward on some the weekend…
      Stay well… talk soon! 😉

      Like

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