The photograph above was taken at start of the 1948 Swan Upping season. The traditional swans flight feather being inserted in the Royal Swan Masters hat by his daughter.
I first met Fred Turk, when on a sunny summer Sunday afternoon my parents use to love to walk “The Three Ferries.” Stopping off at the Cookham Lock, for afternoon tea in the Lock Tea Garden. Then when Mr. Brooks, who ran the third ferry dropped us off by the Toll Bridge, my father always loved to stop and have a chat with Fred, while I would go off to have a chat with their white Cockatoo, who was always to be found sitting on his perch in their garden during the summer months.
The next time I remember I had direct contact with Fred was when during the flood of 1947. When we rented a punt from Fred to enable us to get in and out of Widbrook Cottage.
On the last occasion that I had any contact with the Turk family, was when the city of Ottawa wanted to have swans on the Rideau Canal, which runs though the city. This time I wrote to John Turk, who in consultation with Her Majesty who agreed that twelve swans should be presented to the city.
As the Rideau Canal, freezes in the wintertime, to become the world’s longest skating rink. The swans are taken up and housed in a purpose built heated swanery. Here they also breed in comfort before being released back on the canal in the spring.