Explore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
3 Oct 2014
Click for a Text Only version of this page
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
Home Truths - with John Peel BBC Radio 4

Radio 4

Home Truths
Listen Again
About John Peel

Like this page?
Mail it to a friend

House Boat Harmony

The barge on the Thames on which David Gurdon and his son Mark, have stayed and even lived together since 1978 is to be sold. Where will David and Mark continue their close father, son relationship?

Mark was 13, when he and his father sat on their friend, Ken's boat and first realised just how tranquil and peaceful life on a house boat could be.

On their own 31 foot house boat, Mark and his father found they had time to get to know each other. David remembers "It's a mixed blessing! If you want to get on with things, you can't just dump your son somewhere ... he got to know that my temper wasn't infinite and I got to know that his patience wasn't infinite!"

After Mark's grandmother died, Mark and his father went to live on the boat for a period of 8 months.. Mark remembers, "I was about 30, and it was a sort of Indian summer - very pleasant. It might have been unhealthy, a man of thirty living with dad on a boat, but it had a finite life."

The boat has been for many years "a background of security and pleasure" to them both . Father and son are sorry that it has to be sold but as Mark says "it's become and indulgence - it's done us good service, but it's time to move on, otherwise you're into the reluctance to put away yesterday's toys." His father agrees, "it's an indulgence that has to be sorted out - an awful pity, but you can't have everything."

Do you have a special place you visit with a member or your family, or a friend?
How did you discover your haven?
What kind of bond has it created between you?

Join the discussion on the Home Truths Message Board  

Listen Again
Hear John Peel's Tribute Program

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy