The Boaters' Christian Fellowship

Meet a Member

Julie Thorn

Boat Name: Maid of Oak.

nb Maid of Oak

Born in Surbiton, Surrey, Julie worked as a jewellery designer and gemmologist until marrying Peter. They moved to Claygate and then to Kingston upon Thames, where Julie ran a large playgroup in their house. She then retrained as a teacher and taught for many years. They bought 'The Taft' (a familiar site for many on the Trent & Mersey Canal) in 2001 for our retirement, so that we could have a boat at the bottom of the garden. Many members met her late father, Prof A G Gaydon FRS as they cared for him for six years after he had a tear in the aorta, which self-healed.

Julie's mother took her to church each week and most of the girls in her class at Surbiton High School were prepared for Confirmation. Unfortunately, in 1957 Julie had rheumatic fever, so the vicar very kindly came to her home teaching her, along with her best friend. During her engagement to Peter, he was Confirmed. Julie shared his preparation talks, something that was very helpful to both of them. We are now much involved with St Mary's Church, Colton, Staffordshire.

As a young child, Julie was taught to scull a dinghy and her family often hired boats for the day. As teenagers, they had a canoe and the family hired a large cruiser on the Thames for a fortnight's holiday to Lechlade. Peter and Julie first hired a narrowboat in Wales. In 1998 their daughter, Tania, decided to get a narrowboat as her home, whilst studying for three years in central London as a mature student. Julie spent a frantic weekend chasing round the country with her searching for a suitable boat! Peter and Julie were then lent the boat for a week's holiday and Julie was hooked. She attended Milton Keynes 'National' with Tania in 2001 and joined the BCF after the Service there. The BCF 10th Anniversary celebrations were held in a hired marquee in their garden beside the Trent & Mersey Canal. Since then, they have got to know more and more members. Julie was the BCF's General Secretary for many years until she was forced to retire through ill health.

Julie ThornJulie Thorn

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