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Tony Wonfor

My dad, the Macmillan fundraiser!

Featured Posts

clapping.gif Yay!

Go Dad!

Good man raising money for the fantastic

Mac nurses(who helped my Mum at the end too!)

What a starboat.gif

steffxxx

Edited by 8 Hairy Feet

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Barry    513

Well fair play to your dad then!!

 

I admire what he is doing and the way he is doing it enormously

 

Out of curiosity....That white rectangular pod on the front of his raft? Is it a collapsible sleeping pod?

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cheshire~rose    349

Brilliant!

 

Please keep us posted with his journey so everyone can watch out for him on "their" stretch of canal

 

We love to see photo's too so keep us posted.

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Tony Wonfor    16

Hi Bazza2, yes its a wind up sleeping pod. He spent most of the night one night last week clinging onto it in high winds until he used his brolly to strengthen it! He had almost given up the will to live as he had been holding onto it for hours! His hands went numb until he came up with his "ingenious idea" with the brolly.

 

Will definitely keep you posted. In fact, I'll copy and post some of his facebook quotes. He sails most of the day to try and make as much ground (water) up as possible and tries to post a blog of an evening. Its a little difficult sometimes though in the darkness of his sleeping pod! He's not very technically minded when it comes to computers but he managed to sit in a pub last night in Blackburn and log on using their wi-fi.

 

He originally wanted to do the journey with an electric motor with a petrol one as back up but he almost abandoned the idea because he can't find anywhere to recharge the motor and its taking up a lot of room as well as being heavy. But someone yesterday phoned ahead to their boatyard and he manged to get it charged.

 

With all thats going on in the world, its lovely to see some kindness in the world and he seems to be getting lots and lots of it day by day.clapping.gif

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wobbley    7

Glad to hear he's doing well. I met John at Granary Wharf last week and helped him through Office Lock.

Cracking bloke facing a big challenge for a very worthwhile cause.

 

For other members on here it may be worth finding out what his catamaran is called, - and why...

 

Best of luck to you John.

 

 

NB would loved to have been there when he arrived at Bingley Five Rise - if only to see the lock keeper's reaction !

Edited by wobbley

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Tony Wonfor    16

Thanks Wobbley, thats great. I was hoping people would have seen him on his travels. No doubt there'll be many more talking about "the mad man on his raft!" biggrin.png



Thankyou Brian, it will all help to get him "out there".

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Tony Wonfor    16

A few posts on his facebook page since he started,

 

"Well after a few test runs up and down the canal and a couple of bumps, i am leaving Selby.
It is saturday pm and i am on my way.

... Within 1 mile of being on the canal the heavans opened and i ended up looking like a drowned rat?
Dispite the rain and blustering wind i carried on and pulled into moorings for the night with 6 miles under my belt.

After an ok nights sleep, i woke to find almost galeforce winds so followed the other sailors and stayed put. Which left me to do the next best thing zzzzzzzzzzz yep sleep"

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

"Well the wind seams to be on my side today.

I was hoping to get up and leave with the boat infront to share a lock, but unfortunatly my plans turned to mush.

I have bumped the boat twice today at the front.
Up until now i had yet to experiance going through a lock. So the big test was doing my first two locks today.
I was lead to believe they had instructions on a sign near by, but alas it was not to be. It was total chaos going through the lock and i had to ring the lock keeper knowing my battery on the phone was dying. I managed to manouver Listen through the lock.

On the arrival at my second lock, i had less trouble and now i concider myself a professional at them.

I have come to the conclusion on this journey swans are thick (sorry to all you swan lovers) They stay infront of the boat until you nearly hit them and then fly a few yards up the river and start again.
I am dry and all is well"

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

i started this macmillan charity trip on saturday after noon , i got six miles and came to my first lock , at this point i bottled it and set up camp for the night , also had a meal with friends at the george and dragon in chappel haddersley , nice people , the lady of the house is going to do a fundraiser for me while i am away, at her four day beer festival next week .

next day it blew a gale , the like i have not seen all year , bottled it again , my little boat " listen " and me were not up to it .
monday is the day this trip really got of the ground , first lock was directed by a really nice young bloke called richard , the first of a cart load of helpful and enthusiastic people , too many to mention , folk chucking money in the macmillan bucket and asking " what the hell is that boat supposed to be " advice by the cart load .
my progress was mixed , after leaving the first lock i was faced by the river aire , it was more like the nile to me, but colder and angrier , bricking it is the term that should be used , windy as hell, it wasnt until i set out , going round every other bend was a challenge there were one or two moments when i thought the wind was going to win , but " listen " was not going to be beaten .
second lock , i forgot all the directions that richard gave me , so i set about trying to open the lock gates without raising the sluices , this is physically impossible , then i sussed it ,so far so bad .after two manual locks the next five were automatic , fabulous , these turned out to be the only ones , lemonroyd was the deepest 45ft ,
my little boat took some stick in that one , then i met " bigstone " , it was a sea going vassel , so far i had not seen any other boats , it was a ship , it was also taking the bend a bit tight , at this point a decision had to be made , i duly made the wrong one , i cut across his bow in a 16ft glass fibre boat , i was ready to pull the inflation gas bottle on my life jacket , as he passed i dont think the captain was waving to me .
i found a nice spot to set up for the night at a place called thwaites museum near leads .
a good day, not really , worse was to come , at this point i will end , i will try to bring this up to date tomorrow , this is day five and i am shattered every night , these locks are a nightmare , i am off to bed soon"

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

day two proper , set off from thwaites mill, 7.30 , into leeds at granary wharf , it was so windy that at times i was doing about one mile per hour , tied up at the wrong side of the lock but i could not risk crossing over to the right side , this lock was a strange set up after a lot of head scratching i got through and into the hilton hotel boat berth , they let me take refuge without a fuss , thanks .

had to then try to get out of the incredible wind vortex that is part and parcel of granary wharf apparently, thanks to chas and greg i escaped , is nothing easy with this boating , two or three easy locks , then , what the f..k is that , a double lock , more head scratching , with the help of a nice young couple who were nothing to do with boats i got through , at last i am on a long stretch with no locks ,glory .
then just as i was getting into it i found out that due to vandalism the canal trust close up the locks at four , nothing else to do but heat up a tin of beans for dinner , and make a cup of tea , getting jaded now .
next day two double locks , but these were manned , keith and rob, nice blokes , at the first i had trouble with the back wash , it took me right across the canal and into the stone of the lock with an almight crash , the third time so far that i have give " listen " a crunch.
eventually i end up in dobsons lock , i meet the nicest bunch of canal trust workers that you could imagine , they put me right about things , all is good with the world , in your dreams , last night as you may know yourself was bloody windy , it did not stop for twelve hours the roof top bedroom was having trouble staying put , not a problem maybe but i was inside , for three hours i had to hold the wind up tent to stop it folding up , i alternated arms until i could not continue any longer it just blew harder, at this point my genious kicked in , i reached under the floor and found an adjustable umbrella to use as a prop , relief , twelve hours late the wind stopped, ish.
at times i was going to get sam " my son " to come and get me .
this morning the lads made me tea and took me to the sandwich shop, diamonds .
that not the whole story so far , far too much goes on , as for macmillan it seems that this trip is being noticed , two couples had been told to expect me to turn up,
they read about things in the boat books, enough , see ya.

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

wind stopped play today, had dinner at a carvery , queued with a line of old folk ,about my age ,oops.
lost my flip flops in the gale last night , tomorrow is the three and five rise locks , if i achieve that i will be a lot happier , its easy to lose your morale , sometimes in a bat of an eye , but there are a brigade of nice folks here, had coffee on a narrow boat with stein and jennie , she was from leyton, my home town, stein is danish and has had a brush with cancer , who hasnt it seems .
weather is calming know .
sorry i dont answer any one , at least not often, its not easy to rig up the pooter .
see you tomorrow , ps , bloody church bells, they were nice for a while .

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

last night i spent moored up out side the herriot hotel in skipton , peace at last , head down , the wedding reception went into full swing , lady ga-ga till 1.30,
the occasional scuffle etc.
walked half a mile for petrol , so i treated myself to a breakfast in the aforementioned hotel , good or what , cant operate locks while your hungry as i have found out , mars bars wont do any more .
trom skipton to barnoldswick today , i have had the pralidge to see some of the nicest sceney in england.
i am now in a pub called the anchor in barnoldswick , for dinner i had a pint of adnams , and a sticky toffee pudding , the kitchen had closed .
i am so occupied with this trip that i my seem to have forgotten why i am doing it , but i have not at all , more donations from all sorts of folk , more bastard swans , and twats trying to jump the queue in one lock, was not having that , it was part of a six rise lock.
pints nearly gone so good night .
ps , i have taken loads of pictures and i will try to put some on here soon, just in case you may think i am still indoors.

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

ust lost all my writing , again , kin dongle , left barnoldwick , early , woken by the usual thing " a jogger " every day one turns up .
on my way again , a nice long stretch , then , pooh , eight lock all in a row , but for some of the time i was helped by john and anne marie , after the last one i was invited in for tea and and a slice of cake , nice peeps.
the canal then passes through a populated area , at this point the crap in the river is very noticable , we are a dirty lot at times , into burnley and it hacked it down , took refuge in the cps offices docking area , plus a free pint on the landlord of the " inn on the wharf " , and bed , enough for one day , good night all , these reports were going to be more informative but i am too knackered to be creative for the most part , good night all .

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

no jogger this morning , no rain , no sun , but a lorra piggin wind , but i set off anyway , four miles and i stop at a sanitary station, a shower is taken for granted by most of us but on these canals you take one as you can , a bit of b.o. builds up your resistance , my theory.

shower taken , as i leave the shower block i am confronted by a narrow boat with its bow on one bank and the stern on the other , my boat was shoved along by it , i thought that was the end of this trip, but a long rope and five volunteers put it right ,plus a lady took over the helm , she was good , we all had a good nag about the incident , and they duly tipped up a good few bob, does this goodness end .
wind is not relenting so i am walking around rosegrove , saw a nineteen fifty triumph
and that was about it , my second coffee in a nice pub , it is not supposed to be a pub crawl .
another coffee and a biscuit with steven and tracey , at times i feel like some kind of stray dog , but it s nice to talk at times .
half way through second week , moral not quite broken yet but where is the sun .
enough i i am rambling , bye! .

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

a long update today because my computer is plugged into some ones wi-fi , in a posh pub to be honest , try as i may i just cant avoid these places .

yesterday i passed through another tunnel , just as spooky as the first one but i knew what i was in for this time , against my better judgement i decided to ignore the wind , at times i was down to about one mph , but as i approached blackburn the wind dropped , but a hell of a lot more crap turned up in the canal , on a few occasions the engine stalled due to placky bags , into the city centre i parked at another wharfe , secure and safe , calm , a hard day that was .
today , two minutes on the canal , eight locks to go down , stop moaning just get on with it , at lock number seven a chap on his bike asked me if i was doing this for charity , i said i was , he said his name was nick o,rielly and that he worked at the offices at the basin at the last lock , he rode off saying he would get me a coffee,
pulled into the basin and i was met by about twenty people who work at the firm called "groundwork pennine lancashire" they do enironmental work and fund various projects , anyway in the middle of all this mayhem was my coffee.
they took me into there very nice offices supplied me with a smashing dinner , and cakes , embarrased by all this attention as i was , they did not know i was near to tears , we dont cry in public do we boys.
i could put down a few pages regarding this episode alone , i wont , but as i was about to pull away after saying my goodbyes a chap named kevin asked about the boat , i mentioned one problem was that my electric aspect had fell flat on its face due to no electricity supply , he pulled out his phone and called his brother john at " rileys boat yard " about an hour away , told him to expect me .
an hour later john greets me , his son louis plugs me in , we chat about the world for an hour , plus he insisted on making a rather large donation .
the set up at his yard is second to none , his family operates the buisiness with him ,and i thank the man for his help , thanks .
and so to bed , one other thing i am in another pub using the wi-fi , yet another pub dinner , its a bit of a slog but i am not starving , good

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Tony Wonfor    16

Glad to hear he's doing well. I met John at Granary Wharf last week and helped him through Office Lock.

Cracking bloke facing a big challenge for a very worthwhile cause.

 

For other members on here it may be worth finding out what his catamaran is called, - and why...

 

Best of luck to you John.

 

 

NB would loved to have been there when he arrived at Bingley Five Rise - if only to see the lock keeper's reaction !

Apparently, the lock keeper just locked at him, looked at his "boat" and said..........."WHAT THE **** IS THAT?!!" biggrin.png

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Tony Wonfor    16

Just met him at Johnson's Hillock, as he let us go down in front of him (he's not happy about sharing locks). Nice bloke, good cause, if you see him make a donation.

Yeah I asked him why and he said if he doubles up, his "raft" is likely to get smashed to pieces. Its not that he doesn't want to, he's just concerned for the boat. wink.png

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wobbley    7

Apparently, the lock keeper just locked at him, looked at his "boat" and said..........."WHAT THE **** IS THAT?!!" biggrin.png

Oh, priceless that.

 

And I'll forgive John for getting my name wrong on FB. At the time of exchanging names it was about force 8, with 9" waves on the canal !

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Berengaria    13

Hahaha amazing - I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago (gave it a good kicking thankfully!) so fair play to him! I'm not on FB but I've sent the link to the missus so she's gonna put it on hers. Donation incoming from me tomorrow too (payday!) biggrin.png

 

Edit: Do you know if he's coming down the Oxford Canal Banbury way at all? I'd like to shake his hand

Edited by Berengaria

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Tony Wonfor    16

Hahaha amazing - I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago (gave it a good kicking thankfully!) so fair play to him! I'm not on FB but I've sent the link to the missus so she's gonna put it on hers. Donation incoming from me tomorrow too (payday!) biggrin.png

 

Edit: Do you know if he's coming down the Oxford Canal Banbury way at all? I'd like to shake his hand

Very possibly. I know he was going across to Lancashire, then to Llangollen. Down to Godalming, across to Thetford then back up to Selby. Does that make sense?

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spud150    0

sat in our boat at snaygills at skipton on sunday and i saw a head going past the window ,being nosy i got up to see what it was and saw the back end of it , mystory solved good luck to your dad and well done ,a mamoth task

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Doorman    175

No doubt there'll be many more talking about "the mad man on his raft!" :D

.

Mad?

 

He's a bloody hero!

 

Please let us know if he passes through Audlem. There'll be a pint of whatever he likes on the bar at the Shroppie Fly and a nice warm meal to go with it.

 

There are many people on this forum who have been touched by this horrible disease and many more who have donated towards fighting it. Your Dad will no doubt re-light folk's generosity when they see him on his travels. There will be a donation going in tomorrow, especially after my wife Chrissie reads this.

 

Please tell him to carry on as far as he can and we'll be with him all of the way!

 

Mike

  • Greenie 1

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CV32    28

Lost my mum six years ago to cancer - Macmillan and Marie Curie were amazing, got me through it no question. Good on your dad and I hope you and your family have many happy memories - as the years go on the funny and good memories become stronger as the sad and difficult memories fade (a little bit).

 

BTW - got my monthly donation direct debit set up - its all needed and I know appreciated.

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