Memorial Plaque to Dr Cyril Boucher

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.

The plaque is unveiled by (l to r) Dennis Suleman of the IWA, Heather Rowley of British Waterways, John Boucher, Dr Boucher's son, John Fletcher, national chairman of IWA and local MP, Andrew Stunnel.

A closer look at the plaque, which provides information about Marple Aqueduct. An inscription commemorating Dr Boucher has been carved into the stone surround.

After the unveiling, many of the crowd stay on for a good natter. Cups of tea were laid on from a caravanette by the bottom lock. The horseboat "Maria", originally a maintenance boat on the Peak Forest Canal, was present for the occasion.

For more about the journey of "Maria" see the Events page of The Horseboating Society website. (external link)

Virtual Cruise of the Peak Forest Canal

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