We had a share in Narrowboat Sylph for a few years and had some great times on her. The principal for the scheme was sound, and seemed to work up until the point Allen Mathews ambition got in the way. We only really met him once at the annual owners meeting somewhere over in the West Midlands as I recall. He was a gentleman well spoken and very affable.
NB Sylph on the Tardebigge flight Feb 2008
The only thing that did not sit well with me was the way he attracted the sycophants, maybe a little harsh but there seemed a club around him and maybe it was this club that lost the most by investing in his ambitious but ultimately flawed or fictitious schemes to keep the money coming in to plug the holes left by the illegal use of others hard earned cash.
He died in 2010, maybe his blessing as the shame and fraud investigation would have sent him to jail for sure as others suffered - Ed Rimmer from Challenger ( what was it about shared schemes that attracted such dark endeavour?)
I have a personal thanks however that without Ownerships we would not have had the great holidays with family and friends we had, plus it set us onto a journey of our own now having owned three canal boats and having plans for retirement that see us out there on the network !!
So a chapter closes on an unfortunate life, a gentleman, a fraud and a thief, but also a conduit for a direction in life for more than just us.