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Thread: The End of an Era - John Bull has died

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    south Cumbria

    Default The End of an Era - John Bull has died

    The End of an Era
    It is with great regret that we bring you the sad news that John Bull has died (16th April)

    The email I received from his wife Pat read:

    Dear Keith,

    John died quietly in his own bed this morning. It was not unexpected and he was only very ill for a week.

    Please could you let any of the OCSG who knew him know.
    We are not having a funeral but intend to have a "wake" later in the year. I will let you know when and we would be very glad to see you or anyone else who would like to come.

    Regards, Pat

    As founder of the OCSG and leading influence on the resurgence of interest in British canoe-sailing from 1990, we all owe him a great deal. His energy and commitment to sharing his love for using such small craft was such an important part of those early years of the group’s development, as well as that of canoe-sailing generally, not only in the UK but also in other parts of Europe and the USA.

    There is an "In Memoriam" page on Facebook

    Last edited by windorpaddle; 17th-April-2013 at 11:08 AM. Reason: add photo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Helensburgh, Scotland.


    I was very sad to read this news in the Gossip late last night. I never had the opportunity to meet John as I had hoped I would but I was very much aware of what an important influence he was in the resurgence of canoe sailing in this country through the OCSG and Solway Dory. John's name crops up frequently in conversations about canoe sailing and is familiar to canoe sailors on both sides of the Atlantic, a sad loss indeed.
    Condolences to family and friends and may you sail on in peace John.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    West Yorkshire


    In 1996, Tony Kitson edited an Amateur Yacht Research Society publication entitled "Canoes for Experiments: Sail and Human Power".

    In his capacity as the AYRS' "Sailing Canoe Coordinator", John Bull is credited with having written and researched much of the content of "Canoes for experiments", including:
    • What is a Proper Canoe
    • Sailing Canoes
    • The Open Canoe Sailing Group
    • The Solway Dory Delta Sail

    In a section on "Recent Voyagers" (re-printed from 1994), John pays tribute to expeditions at home and overseas. Special mention is made of a pioneering, 200 mile expedition from Crinan to Portree on the Isle of Skye (via Oban and Fort William) by Keith Morris, Andy Sallabank and Tony Ball... and of Ray Goodwin and Dave Howie's legendary Irish Sea crossing from Dunlaoghaire (Dublin) to Holyhead.

    John's subsequent article (from page 21) gives a wonderful glimpse into the early days of the Open Canoe Sailing Group in those same, early years

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Bala area


    So sorry to hear the news and regret that I had not seen John in many years. It was one of his sail designs that Dave Howie and myself used on the Irish Sea crossing. I enjoyed many conversations with John as a met up with him at canoe shows. One of the great influences on myself.


    Paddling a Venture Prospector (in CoreLite X) using Downcreek Paddles

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