Search

Islington cancer survivor’s ‘to do’ list led to canal festival honour

12:05 25 June 2012

Beryl Windsor

Beryl Windsor

Archant

While battling ovarian cancer 22 years ago, Beryl Windsor scribbled down on the back on an envelope everything she wanted to do if she survived, with buying a narrow boat topping the list.

Support your community by viewing your local businesses

Please wait

You will be able to read the article in 5 seconds

Thank you for supporting your local community

You may now read the article

Not only did she beat the disease to fulfil that dream, she has also worked tirelessly to ensure one of the biggest annual celebrations on the Regent’s Canal continues – and has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her important work.

The Angel Canal Festival was started by the late Crystal Hale in 1987 after she successfully took on British Waterways to save the City Road Basin from being filled in and developed. When she fell ill in 1999, fellow organiser Jim Lagden was desperate for help and Ms Windsor, whose boat was moored at St Pancras Basin, and her friend Sasha Mears stepped up to the mark.

Since Mr Lagden’s death in 2008, they have ran the festival, now in its 26th year, and this year is set to be the biggest yet as the council funds a host of additional activities out of its Olympic grant.

Ms Windsor, who now lives in Birmingham with her husband Steve Burt but keeps her boat moored at St Pancras Basin, said: “The festival hasn’t changed much but has grown to be more inclusive - that stretch of canal covers houses worth millions as well as council houses, but just for the day everybody mingles together to enjoy the day.”

She said she was “absoultely astonished, but very honoured” to be handed the BEM, and added: “I think it is a pat on the back for all of those that have done all the work for the festival over the years. To have somebody take a step back and recognised it is a very nice thing and totally unexpected.”

Ms Windsor fell in love with idea of owning a narrow boat when she passed St Pancras Basin every day on her journey to work as a PA in King’s Cross. She lived in Northampton at the time and stopped commuting in order to extend her mortgage and buy her own boat, which she lived on during the week.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

12:18
Islington's Borough Commander Gerry Campbell Pic: Dieter Perry

A new crack police team designed to wipe out violence within the family will be launched on Monday.

Yesterday, 16:09
Planned engineering work could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Yesterday, 11:22
Richmond Trew

A “notorious pickpocket” who was banned from using the tube has been jailed for six months after breaching his ASBO to steal a purse.

Yesterday, 08:10
MP Emily Thornberry: 'I grew up on a council estate'

An Islington MP has resigned from Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet after her tweet of a house draped with England flags saw her branded a ‘snob’.

Most read news

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.

At 100 years old, this was Ruby Holt’s first visit to the beach – and the first time she saw the ocean.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition