Tim Coghlan recalls the life of Dave Odell, Braunston Marina’s charismatic marine engineer, who recently died in tragic circumstances.
Dave Odell, known to one and all as Diesel Dave, was a great canal character. He is perhaps best remembered for his winter barbieon-ice in the great freeze-up of January 2010. There he sat in the middle of the Lower Reservoir some yards from his boat, in silent splendour all on his own, beneath his Tony Hancock hat, cigarette in hand, and tinnies chilling on the ice. Even his two faithful spaniels had more sense than to join him. His friend Paula took the memorable photograph of this contended soul from the safety of his boat. It made the local newspapers and then inspired a visit from the regional BBC TV.