This website is, at the moment, a simple repository for my main recreational pursuits – walking, genealogy and inland waterway boating. The walking is mostly featured on a separate website
As time permits, I’ll add other pages – although having said that there isn’t an excess of that available because I spend so much of my time each day working on my ‘day-job’ – I have been retired since 2002 but in reality I spent most of my waking hours on local community-based projects and canal-related activities such as being founding Chair of the Save Our Warerways campaign which was influential in persuading Government to transform British Waterways into the charitable Canal & River Trust.
I founded and still run the Waterway Watch website, was Vice Chair of our village Neighbourhood planning Steering Committee and am Chair of the Alrewas Community Fund which initiates and manages local community projects.
So, the site is what it is – at the time writing it concentrates extensive tree of over 20,000 ancestors and relatives. On the subject of our tree, my brother and I were brought up in a wonderful working-class family from Hammersmith whose maternal ancestors were bricklayers and farm labourers in Norfolk and whose paternal roots were joiners and carpenters in Cornwall. As one delves deeper into our past we find stories of people with the simple resolve and determination to better themselves in an honest and honourable way whatever the gamble of life dealt them. Despite their best efforts one or two ended up needing the workshop or the support of a charity to survive but we see no thieves or tendency to think that the rest of the world owed them something, their DNA contained a grit & self-determination gene that still shines today. Despite this humble background, I find it fascinating that our genealogical research shows that a surprising number of our ancestors (x-times great-grandparents) stretch back to over 30 generations of historical figures.
Will & John Chapman