On the 14th of April, 2003, a crowd of around 50 people gathered next to the Marple Aqueduct for the unveiling of a plaque which is a memorial to Dr Cyril Boucher, who died in 1997.
Dr Boucher was one of the early pioneers of the Peak Forest Canal Society and later became involved with canal restoration on a wider scale, becoming President of the Inland Waterways Association North West Region.
The back of his house in Winnington Road, Marple, overlooked the canal, and became a base for the intrepid volunteers who carried out the early restoration work on the Marple Locks. His basement was used as a workshop and storage room and his son John recalls how all the muddy boots were left there after the work parties.
In those early, less enlightened days, British Waterways were not keen on having their canals restored and did not encourage active groups such as the Peak Forest Canal Society. Dr Boucher offered to go to jail if British Waterways decided to take legal action against the group, but luckily, his offer was not taken up.For more about the journey of "Maria" see the Events page of The Horseboating Society website. (external link)