Trip of a lifetime for Fenland couple as they retire, sell up and set sail on narrow boat

PUBLISHED: 11:58 02 June 2011 | UPDATED: 15:21 02 June 2011

Stephen and Ann Bollard who are leaving March to go on a UK tour with their narrowboat.

Stephen and Ann Bollard who are leaving March to go on a UK tour with their narrowboat.

Archant

A MARRIED couple waved goodbye to 20 years of living in Fenland today to go on a trip of a lifetime on board a narrow boat.

Steve and Ann Bollard, both 58, moved to March in 1992 but will be leaving on the Majikk Jack on Thursday to sail round the UK using the canal networks after retiring early.

Mr Bollard, a prison officer for 35 years, said: “We’re very excited, getting everything into place for our trip. We’re headed for Northampton then from there we have access to the rest of the UK, joining onto the Grand Union Canal.

“We had a holiday on the Norfolk Broads a few years ago and found the pace of life was so tranquil and thought we would like to do this later on.

“Our children are going to join us at places we will visit and we will be meeting up with friends all over the country.”

Having moved to the town for his job, Mr Bollard worked at Whitemoor Prison since it opened but he and his wife have sold their Cavalry Road home and put their belongings into storage.

He said: “I think travelling on a narrow boat is quite a popular thing to do at the moment, and there are lucky people who can have their house and have a boat moored too but we couldn’t afford to do that.”

Mrs Bollard, who has worked for the Royal Mail for 18 years, picked up the narrow boat from Hertford Marina with her husband and they plan to travel round the UK for the next two years.

She said: “It is a trip of a lifetime. I loved the job I was doing so it was a difficult decision for me. It was a tie for me whether to stay in my job or go boating, but I can’t wait.”

Mr Bollard said: “I would love to buy a yacht and go to other countries but I don’t think I’m brave enough to do that, canals are much more tranquil than the open seas.”

After their adventure, the couple will settle down again, not in Fenland but in Hampshire to live closer to their daughter.

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