George Gibson

George Gibson inspecting NB Albert at Widbrook Dry Dock, November 2003

I notice that in Waterways World there is an obituary to George Gibson, a waterways entrepreneur on the Kennet & Avon Canal, who has died aged 82.  In 2003 we explored the K&A in our our first boat, Bertie. Reaching Honeystreet late on a sunny summer evening, we stopped to use the facilities provided by George at the Old Builders Wharf and ended up having a long chat. George let us moor up for the night at his delightful "end of the garden" mooring. The site was immaculate reflecting his Royal Navy training - George was an engineering officer in the Fleet Air Arm. He was well qualified in engineering being a Chartered Engineer, Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology.

Later in 2003, when we bought Albert from Bradford-on-Avon, it was logical that we should call on George to carry out the purchase survey. I was present at the survey in the dry dock in Bradford-on Avon and was able to benefit from George's informal advice. I will always remember him lifting the boards above the prop shaft and pointing out that in the Royal Navy, when they transported beer in cutters, they always stored it under the boards near the prop because that was the coldest spot on the boat as it was surrounded by water.

I found out that George was already familiar with Albert from a earlier Boat Safety Certificate inspection. He not only provided us with great service but  he managed to introduce humour into his report, noting that a a one-bottle gas system with no auto-change over had the potential to ruin meals! He finished his report with the statement that it was a pleasure to survey Albert, it was also a pleasure to meet him and benefit from his opinions.
Old Builders Wharf, Honeystreet, August 2003