CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Q&A: Peter Waters, inland waterways volunteer

PUBLISHED: 10:43 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:16 20 February 2013

Peter Waters

Peter Waters

Serial volunteer Peter Waters talks about his former career in education, community work and role as a volunteer on the county's inland waterways

How old are you?
I am 61. I am said to be a typical Taurean with an April 30th birthday. I was born prematurely, my mother had a caesarean and I came out backwards. I definitely started as I meant to go on!


Tell us about your family
I am an only child and a bachelor, so I don't have any family in this country since my parents died. My mother was French, so I have cousins on her side in France and also in Venice and Chile. They have been admittedly good for 'scrounge holidays'.


Where do you live?
Nightingale Place in Rickmansworth, behind the Long Island Exchange Hotel. I have never moved away from the area because I really like the location and I am heavily involved in the local community. I've served on the Rickmansworth Residents Association for nearly 30 years, with the Rickmansworth Society for 22 years. I also volunteer as a steward at Three Rivers Museum in the town centre and with Rickmansworth Waterways Trust.


What do you do for a living?
I retired nearly two years ago after a career in education administration. I read English at UCL and stayed on after taking my MA there to work for London University. I later became the assistant secretary at St George's Hospital Medical School and then assistant secretary and clerk to the council for the Girls' Public Day School Trust. Now my life is as busy - if not more so - than when I was working! I'm secretary of the Watford Festival of Music, Speech and Drama and a Trustee of Three Rivers Council for Voluntary Service. I am also Vice-Chairman for Three Rivers Music Society, Rickmansworth Historical Society and Friends of Watersmeet Theatre. Add to that senior altar server at my church - 54 years and counting. I'm exhausted just saying them all!


How did you get involved with inland waterways and what do you do?
Rickmansworth Waterways Trust first formed nearly 20 years ago as an offshoot of the Residents Association when I was its chairman. The trust's aim was - and still is - to bring together people who are enthusiastic about canals, education and the environment. Now we organise the Rickmansworth Festival every May in the Aquadrome. My role over the weekend is a comfy throne at the festival entrance on Batchworth Bridge to collect donations from visitors.


What else is the trust involved in?
We run a really successful and award-winning children's education programme on the inland waterways called 'Learning at the Lock' between Easter and September. I help out too during the summer season at Batchworth Lock Centre, the trust's shop and information centre. The canal is a really vital part of our local community, not least because of the opportunities it provides to both the leisure and voluntary sectors.


What is your favourite song or piece of music and why?
I find it difficult to narrow my favourite music to one piece or composer, so instead it's three classical composers. Edward Elgar because he's so quintessentially English, Richard Strauss because of the richness of his orchestration and musical language and Hector Berlioz because he was so ahead of his time.


Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions?
I sometimes wonder what I would have been like if I had become a priest, but I think I'm too independent to have stayed the distance. Marriage too perhaps, but if you think of it as a three-course meal, I have stuck to buffet dips.


Where are the best views in Hertfordshire?
For me, views from the Shire Lane walk are fantastic - looking out from West Hyde right at the county edge towards the Thames Valley. It doesn't really matter that the M25 is only 100 yards away behind me - when I'm there I block it out of my consciousness.


What is your favourite town/place in Hertfordshire and why?
It can't be anywhere else than Rickmansworth. It has the best of both - in the country but close to London. I always think of it as a big village.


Sum up Hertfordshire in five words
Inexhaustible treasure trove of surprises!


0 comments

More from People

54 minutes ago

Graphic artist Chris Gibson is bringing Hampshire’s landmarks in to people’s homes with his nostalgic posters

Read more
13:28

Hannah Salisbury from the Essex Record Office tells the story of an exciting project that is taking memories on tour around the county

Read more
11:54

In the latest in her series throughout 2018 profiling inspirational women, KATE HASKELL talks to England Women’s Cricket Captain, Heather Knight

Read more
11:44

Actor Tom Burke talks to JUDI SPIERS about his production of Don Carlos staged by his own theatre company Ara, in association with Exeter’s Northcott Theatre

Read more
11:26

If you have been lucky enough to be a homeowner for any significant length of time then you would certainly have been aware of how the value of your property has increased over the years

Read more

Andrew Griffiths meets Jim Dixon, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Peak District National Park.

Read more

Hale residents and business-owners Hanna Miraftab and Martin Kinsella are the newest additions to hit TV show Real Housewives of Cheshire

Read more
Yesterday, 15:01

Harnessing the power of social media, charity awards and dreaming up new projects - it’s all in a day’s work for Gloucestershire children’s charity Pied Piper and its corporate supporters

Read more
Yesterday, 12:27

The Cotswolds’ very own Prince of Wales turns 70 this month, so we looked back on some of the highlights of his life and career, and wondered what birthday pressies we would buy for the man who has the world at his feet

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search