Icarus Edmonds…. founder of Bideford Canoe Club

Icarus passed away on Sunday January 23rd 2022 after a battle with lung cancer.  Tributes are posted below.

Article in the club newsletter in April 2000 …. by Sue Ambler

It all started eleven years ago!

I was in my back garden pegging out my washing, when a stranger appeared and uttered those words which were to change my life….”I’ve noticed that you’ve got a canoe on your car. I’m trying to start up a canoe club. Would you be interested?

This was my first meeting with Icarus Edmonds and the beginning of a long association and friendship with the Edmonds family.

Within a week the inaugural meeting had been held at Northam Swimming Pool and a committee elected. Our first chairman was, appropriately, Icarus, and our first secretary, Fiona, his wife. Our first treasurer, Mike Godfrey, after a couple of years in the job, took the drastic step of taking a teaching post in Kualalumpur- was it all too much for him, I ask myself?

During the first few years Icarus was organiser and coach, paddling every weekend and taking the juniors throughout the summer. We enjoyed (allegedly) trips to the Dee, the Tryweryn, Nottingham and the first World Kayaking Rodeo Championships at The Bitches, off Ramsey Island in West Wales, in addition to all our regular local paddles. 

Unfortunately, serious back problems put an end to his kayaking days and to his active participation in club activities. He continued to support the club whenever he could… junior sessions in his open boat, at committee meetings, barbecues and with any problems that arose.

Fiona, meanwhile, kept the club ticking over on the paperwork side, maintained meticulous club records and never failed to astound me with her knowledge of computers! Nothing was ever too much trouble, and she thrived on a challenge. Despite following an arduous degree course and running a home she still found time for the canoe club.

At the last A.G.M. Icarus and Fiona stepped down as chair and secretary. I shall miss them. We thank them for all the time and effort they have put into the club and have conferred upon them Lifetime Honorary Memberships. Only time will tell whether our new officials can match their achievements.

Thank you Icarus and Fiona.


Meg Edmonds  

Thankyou Sue;
Bideford Canoe Club formed such a crucial part of my childhood. I have so many fond memories of being out on the river with dad and so many from the club. From “helping” dad /joining in with introductory sessions to jumping off’ve the Bideford Bridge stanchions; even bumping down the Dart Loop in the front of dads open boat!
My dad and Bideford Canoe Club gave me the foundations to continue adventures out on the water and in recent years me and dad have been sharing memories of places we have both paddled and sharing tips on rivers I am yet to explore!
You are all part of our family; and always still make me feel welcome when I gatecrash your trips every now and then.
Dad’s service will be at Barnstaple Crematorium on Tuesday 8th Feb 2022 at 11:40am; anyone who remembers dad and wants to is welcome to come and share memories with us.
Meg x

Colin Steinlechner

Never met the guy but I’ve benefitted enormously from his existence!
I’d never set foot in a kayak before moving to North Devon 17 years ago, I was introduced to the club and white water and immediately hooked.
Thankyou Icarus; among many.