Poignant water taxi journey to remember Joan

Photograph ' right to left, Ros Bird (daughter), Patricia Neal (carer), Linda Lewis (Carer), Julie Scott (Carer), Glyn Lewis (friend), David Bird (son-in-law), Moe Roe (neighbour), Karen Hughes (Carer), Maree Roe (neighbour) ANL-150721-091354001
Photograph ' right to left, Ros Bird (daughter), Patricia Neal (carer), Linda Lewis (Carer), Julie Scott (Carer), Glyn Lewis (friend), David Bird (son-in-law), Moe Roe (neighbour), Karen Hughes (Carer), Maree Roe (neighbour) ANL-150721-091354001
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Friends, family and carers have paid a special tribute to an elderly lady who loved Spalding so much that she chose to spend her last years in the town.

Last Saturday, Joan Fuller’s daugter Ros and others went on a poignant water taxi journey to remember the 91-year-old and her love of Spalding’s waterways.

We thought it would be a nice idea to make a reflective waterway journey in mum’s memory and in celebration of her happy later life spent in Spalding.

Joan Fuller’s daughter, Ros Bird

Joan (91) moved to south Lincolnshire from Kent in 2001 to a home adjacent to the Coronation Channel.

Her daughter Ros Bird said: “The beautiful Lincolnshire scenery along the river and Coronation Channel was one of the driving factors for mum wanting to move to Spalding.

“She thought it was so beautiful and said ‘that’s where I want to end my days’.”

So she took the brave decision to move from her family home to Lincolnshire.

She found a lovely bungalow that gave easy access to the channel footpath and bridge and was often seen walking with camera in hand to capture yet another picture of the local wildlife and scenic views which she would send to her relatives back in Kent.”

Ros added: “We thought it would be a nice idea to make a reflective waterway journey in mum’s memory and in celebration of her happy later life spent in Spalding.”

“This outing on Saturday followed a memorial service held the day before at St John the Baptist Church on what would have been her 92nd birthday.

“I remember how very excited mum was about the introduction of the water taxi and she always made a point of encouraging people to go on it when they visited to have what she called her 
‘watery Spalding experience’.”

The private charter of the water taxi, referred to as ‘The Joanie’ for the night by the passengers, set off from Springfields and the two- hour trip held moments of quiet reflection, plus some fun times with quite a few toasts being made to Joan’s memory during the voyage.

When nearing her home location, the crew tossed rose petals from Joan’s garden on to the water and watched as they silently drifted downstream.

“It was a magic moment that will live with me forever,” said Ros. On board were carers, friends and neighbours, all of whom had played their part in helping Joan to retain her dignity to the end and 
derive so much pleasure from her locality.

Joan was a popular lady who was sadly diagnosed with Alzhiemers in 2006.

During her last years she was able to remain in her precious bungalow thanks to the dedication and support of her carers, until she suffered a stroke just six weeks before passing away peacefully in Ashwood Nursing Home in Spalding.