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“Apart from that, how did you enjoy the play?”

Tim Coghlan recently met George Smith, the now 96-year old former working boatman and briefly the first husband of Sonia Rolt.

Sometime in 1946, and with the war well behind her, the former Idle Woman and working boat-woman Sonia Smith received some exciting news when she collected her mail at Hawkesbury Junction, a focal point for the Midlands canals, lying as it did a little to the north of Coventry. There was a letter from an old girlfriend from her pre-war acting days, who had just landed her first big role in a West End theatre production. Would Sonia like to come to the first night, which was now only a few days away?

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