THE QE2 is famously named after Queen Elizabeth II, the Mary Rose is said to have been christened after Henry VIII’s youngest sister, and now Sudbury has a boat named after one of its bestknown residents.
Kathleen Grimwood, who lived at The Croft, was 110 years old when she died in January.
On Sunday, a ceremony was held outside the River Stour Trust’s Granary building to mark the unveiling of Kathleen – a boat named in her honour.
More than 20 of Miss Grimwood’s family, friends, carers and neighbours attended, on what would have been her 111th birthday.
“It was a lovely day,” said Judy Darlington, her great niece. “Kathleen had been going down to the river for her annual boat trip to celebrate her birthday for the last 13 years.
“She would have loved to have been there with the cake, the fuss and everything else. She was a remarkable customer for the trust.”
The new electric boat was bought by the trust, along with two others earlier this year, and will operate on the stretch of the river between Sudbury, Great Cornard and Great Henny.
The naming ceremony was purposefully delayed to coincide with Miss Grimwood’s birthday, and Mrs Darlington said everyone took the chance to reminisce about the former school matron.
“We all have such fond memories of her and all swapped some funny stories,” she said.
“Lots of people gave up so much to keep her in her own home and she just loved company and people around her.”
Ewen Lake, one of three generations of nephews Kathleen left behind, described her as a “terrific character”, who would have loved the thought of a boat being named after her.
“I had been coming to visit my auntie since the 1940s,” he said. “It was a great privilege to be at the ceremony.
“Kathleen was such a lively soul. I still can’t believe she is not in Sudbury any more.”
Catherine Burrows, from the River Stour Trust, said the organisation was “honoured” to name the boat after Miss Grimwood, who was the tenth oldest person in the UK when she died.
“It was tradition that she came for a boat trip on her birthday and it made perfect sense to name the boat in her memory,” she said.
The trust’s other vessels, Rosette and Francis J, will be used along with Kathleen on weekend boat trips.