Barge skipper Derek ‘Spearo’ Ling talks about his life on the water

Derek 'Spearo' Ling barge skipper



Derek ‘Spearo’ Ling has a fund of great stories from a life that has included working as mate and skipper on board sailing barges, and which has seen him progress from schoolboy to Freeman of the City of London and Freeman of the Waterways. He was born in 1927, and seems to have known some real characters.

This series of three YouTube clips were filmed by his son in law, Chris Rudland, who has made a beautiful job of both filming and editing three hours worth of material over different sessions.

Chris says: ‘Spearo describes the life, love, loss, experience and many humorous stories. He describes the war years, cargos, gifts and much more… I have so often listened to his stories over the years but thought now is the time to catch them on tape for prosperity so I had a go, knowing Spearo wouldn’t disappoint me.’

Spearo certainly doesn’t disappoint! See video 1, video 2 and video 3.

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