Engineers make things. Engineers fix things. And engineers make things to fix other things. Not for them the bolting on of new parts in the hope of a miracle cure.
If an engineer needs a tool to do a proper job, and the right tool doesn’t exist yet, your old school engineer will make one. And it will be fine piece of work in its own right.
Grace of Longstone, and by association, Helen and I were lucky enough to know such an engineer. When we arrived in Goole with a beautiful boat and great plans but next to no idea of the engineering required, this man took us under his wing. Not only were problems fixed, but the causes of said problems removed and systems re-worked and improved. Working alongside this engineer was an education and a pleasure.
We heard today that this engineer laid down his tools for the last time on Saturday and so today is a immensely sad day for us.
That Grace is such a seaworthy vessel owes much to this man’s skill, love of fixing things and patience with engineering novices. Am I a better engineer from working alongside this man? I believe I am and this is something I will always be thankful for.
Phil, I hope that you understood how much we were grateful for your friendship and help and how much of a difference your time and support over the last four years made to us.
Caroline, thanks also to you for your support and friendship over this last few years. We are glad that you found a beautiful place in Ireland for you both to spend your time and continue doing the many things you enjoyed together.
We promise you that Helen and I will come and visit when we have returned from the adventure that Phil helped us so much to prepare for.