Next Time! 9th August

Windsor Racecourse Marina to the second big expensive house in Marlow

Last nights mooring

Approaching Bray Lock this morning the gates were open so we headed straight in. The jolly Lockies asked how long we were and quickly decided to close the gates behind us, we were being followed by a trip boat. I suspect they’d been expecting the larger boat and we’d got in between. We were soon up and they could drop the lock.

Bray Studios being demolished in parts

Last night we watched an episode of Tony Robinson on his walk along the Thames. He covered the stretch we are currently on and went to look at a Slipper Launch being worked on at Peter Freebody and Co.

Rolf’s house
Just look at those lines

Today we were going to see a lot of these beautifully crafted boats. They have such wonderful lines and the finish on their woodwork is more than mirror like. No wonder they take two years to make and cost around about £180,000. The bigger houses on the way into Maidenhead all seemed to have one moored up outside, including outside Rolf Harris’s house.

Maidenhead Railway Bridge

Under Maidenhead Railway Bridge, designed by Brunel with low rise arches that caused a stir at the time of it’s construction. However it’s stability is still good 180 years later.

Maidenhead Bridge

As we approached Boulter’s Lock there was another narrowboat ahead of us. We both waited for the gates to open and then we followed them in. The lock keeper enquired about NB Martha Gunn’s licence, the lady at the bow not knowing what sort it was. The licence wasn’t on show to the Lockie, but on the port side I could just make out the bottom of the V19 that had been trapped in a hopper window and then the rest of it had fallen backwards out of view.

Going round the islands towards Cliveden

After Maidenhead the river runs alongside a steep cliff, covered in trees. Soon we could see Cliveden House high up above. If the weather forecast wasn’t for strong winds tomorrow we’d have moored up and gone for a walk around the National Trust grounds. Over twenty years ago I spent a month painting new rooms and bathrooms in the stable block of this very posh hotel. This would be a perfect place for Tilly, we might never see her again. We possibly would have fitted on one of the islands in the middle of the Thames, perfect for keeping Tilly close. But the last place we want to be with 50mph gusts is around so many trees. Another Next Time!

Spring Cottage, where Queen Victoria used to have afternoon tea watching the boats

Nb Martha Gunn was a little bit slower than us and the chap at the helm had said they wouldn’t mind if we overtook. We decided to go a different way round the islands and see who got to the other end first, they just beat us. Along side the river is Spring Cottage which is part of the hotel. Here you can spend a night with a champagne cruise thrown in for just £2,055, if you want breakfast included add another £50.

Waiting our turn

Round the next bend Cookham Lock waited for us a boat coming down. On Self Service I was about to offer to press the buttons but crew from another boat who’d arrived above offered to do the honours and up we went. After the lock cut the river opens out, wide sweeping stretches of river.

Bourne End

Bourne End looked inviting in the sun with blue sky over head and this chap sat in a modest sized garden reading his book.

Enjoying the sunshine reading his book

On we continued still not as far as we wanted to reach today the wind on the wider stretches blustering away at us.

Marlow Lock

At Marlow Lock a boat was just finishing going up and a small inflatable with outboard motor was waiting on the lock pontoon to come down. The lock was on self service and they hadn’t spotted this for half an hour. The lock landing isn’t connected to dry land so they’d have had to drop someone off. I offered to do the buttons for them and dropped them down.

Marlow

A gongoozler asked if the locks were hard to operate, four buttons, that’s all, not hard. But the lock was being a little bit odd, the sluice close light flashing when it shouldn’t. It still worked, just took a while for it to acknowledge that the levels had equalised. So we were soon on our way again. We let NB Martha Gunn go ahead as they were hoping to reach Henley today, we were hoping to find a mooring in Marlow without too much tree cover.

A lovely steam boat only £1200 for two hours

A long line of cruisers sat on the moorings. Ahead were two gaps away from the masses, but these were surrounded by trees. Then at the end of the line with shorter greenery around it was an Oleanna sized hole. We pulled in, just enough depth and double pinned ourselves to this outside. Tilly was given shore leave for the rest of the day.

Thunderous rain shorlty after we moored

Time to try to use that courgette from Hampton Court Palace. I’d spotted a recipe for a beetroot, courgette and feta tart. Yesterday we’d picked up the other ingredients, so I started to slice everything up. Layering it out on the pastry I realised I had far too much of everything, twice as much courgette as required! Oh well, it can sit in the fridge until tomorrow.

Beetroot courgette and feta tart

The tart was very tasty.

Marlow at dusk. My camera did this blue all by itself

Property Game

Another smaller property. 2 bedrooms and a first floor conservatory.

This one may be hidden behind a wall but it’s rather pretty. Four bedrooms and well situated for the railway.

4 Locks, 11.26 miles, 3 locks shared, 3 pretty launches all in a row, 20 coats of varnish, 1 mooring on the Next time list, 1/2 courgette left, 1 beetroot left, 1 tasty tart, 1 mooring with lack of trees, 1 thunder storm, 3 wealthy neighbours.

Yesterdays Answer

£610,000 in Chertsey with 42ft of river frontage and a long lawn out the other side.

https://www.waterview.co.uk/property-for-sale/house-for-sale-in-laleham-reach-chertsey-kt16/5264

Sorry Debby, I’m sure if your house was in Chertsey it would be worth more than this.

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