Meet the Guides
Our guides all live locally and have a passion for paddling on the Stour, sharing it’s history and the beautiful countryside with our customers.
With their experience of the river, they’ll help you get the basics of paddling, get you round weirs & locks safely and point out tricky sections. Their role is to help you have a safe, enjoyable and informative tour.
Some of the guides are retired, some work 9 to 5 in a variety of “normal” jobs. All are volunteers. Without these people, River Stour Boating CIC wouldn’t exist.
Hailing from Derbyshire, STEVE has lived near Colchester for over 20 years and knows the Stour Valley inside out from walking it’s footpaths, cycling it’s bridleways and now canoeing the river with RSB. He’s currently a Director of RSB and looks after the campsite & bookings.
KEITH, also from North of Watford – actually Hull – is also a Director of RSB and a qualified Chemical Engineer.
ALAN C has a sailing & engineering background and his common sense and dry sense of humour helps customers get through any tricky problems on the tours.
ALLAN B is a retired PE teacher, so he’s good at all sorts of sports and helping novices. He also offers help in sports psychology with his own clients.
CHARLIE is our most experienced guide and was skinning rabbits when Ray Mears was still in nappies. He’s paddled the Stour solo, by moonlight and in all seasons. Don’t get him started on the fantastic time he had in fantastic New Zealand or we may never see him again.
SARAH got interested in paddling as a customer on one of our tours. She’s now active in Sudbury Canoe Club and also works at Daws Hall nature reserve which borders the Stour above Bures. She’s an expert in bats and other flora & fauna that’s found along the river.
TERESA is an independent spirit and has twice solo paddled & wild camped the River Thames. The last time in 2017 was to raise money for a clean water project in Africa. She blends this independence with a genuine interest in the well-being of all our customers.
DAVE (Spike) is a qualified HGV driver and so you’ll be in safe hands when he’s running the minibus transfer. He also guides and has a wealth of local knowledge having lived all his life along the Stour.
JILL has already had a career in the Army. She now somehow juggles her time between leading guided walks in England, working for NGOs abroad and providing training for the Army.
PAUL is another ex-services person who is our action man – paddling, climbing, scuba & shooting (now just clays).
MARK is an ex-journalist and now full-time senior school teacher. He’s recently come out of the closet as a “birder” – but definitely not a “twitcher”. If he’s on your trip, he’ll happliy identify all the birds you can see – plus the ones that you can only hear.
NICK must be our fittest guide. He does cycling time-trials all over the country and holds several age records. To stretch out those stiff limbs he also teaches yoga weekly and earns a living in IT.
DAVE recently retired from running his own business and now spends his time tinkering with classic cars and holidaying abroad. You may see him opening Flatford Lock for tours on a Sunday.
BARRY lives by the Stour at Cornard and operates the metal Cornard Lock for us at the start of the Upper River tour. He always gives our party a cheery wave as they head off downstream….
JONATHAN (the one in glasses) is a freelance journalist and looks after our press releases. He also guides tours when his back allows.
OLIVER works in the virtural world but also occassionaly guides for us in the real world.