Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Grey Man

I don't know how good the story is... Because I missed getting the info first hand. I had to go back home for a few hours. However the Memsahib who stayed on the boat had a conversation with a boating couple, which she later filled me in about, so to speak.

This could be an urban legend or old wives tale.

There is a boat out and about on the canal appropriately called 'Ratty' and apparently it belongs to Jonathan Aitken ex MP 'sword of truth and all that.' The story goes that -  the couple the wife was talking to were moored up enjoying the countryside at the top of the Wigan flight.  Their attention was sparked whilst watching a man (in an out of place for the canal) 'smart and expensive suit.' He engages them in polite conversation and enquires as to how long they were staying on the mooring as he had someone coming with a boat. The couple suggest that there is more than enough room to moor another boat behind. Not only that, but the other boat would be more than welcome to moor with them anyway.  The man quietly walks away and short time later, a boat duly arrives and begins to moor up. 

The boaters have had their interest sparked by the strange approach and are now discreetly observing the new arrivals and wondering what will happen next. It seems that the bloke doing the mooring up is wearing a pair of yellow marigolds and is sporting longish hair and a beard. All good attributes for a boater. But I digress. He starts knocking in the pins, tip-top rather than thump-thump! They couple were sure it was not someone that they knew, but strangely the bloke seems, somehow familiar. 

However, later when one of the women disembarks, she is much more instantly recognisable. It's Norma (Dame Norma Christina Elizabeth Major DBE) and her sister (not Edwina!) The unkempt long haired bloke in the beard it turns out is the grey man of politics, ex prime minister John Major. (Sir John Major, KG, CH, ACIB) Later, there a small fleet of blacked out cars arrive and the grey couple are whisked away. It seems that Aitken is known to lend out the boat to some of his old friends and cronies from time to time. As for the man in the suit, and the blacked out cars - who knows but it sounds quite 'spooky' to me!


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