Category Archives: Godalming

Pink And Yellow. 28th, 29th July

Godalming Wharf to Quarry Hill Footbridge Meadows

Being close to a water point meant a day of chores before we pushed off. Oleanna hasn’t had a wash down in months, so it was about time. Mick even used the word ‘we’ in relation to the job. On NB Winding Down, our share boat, we would have to leave her spotless after each trip, which meant a grumpy last day on board. I enjoy returning the roof to it’s original colour, where as Mick follows instructions and any suggestion that he’s not quite doing it right is followed by his cloth being slapped back into the bucket. As you can understand we don’t spend our lives washing Oleanna down as some boat owners do.

Mick with a cloth in hand!

A boat had beaten us to the water point, so the washing machine went on instead. Once they had moved away we pushed over. The hose was set to refill our tank, then a couple of buckets were made ready. Everything was removed from the roof, it was swept down and we set to work. This of course coincided with another boat pulling up! They breasted up and headed off to do some shopping whilst our tank filled and we washed the roof. Blimey it was filthy!

On their return our tank had not long since filled, a boat tucked into the corner had left, so we suggested that we slip out and take that space. They could do their necessaries and when the time came for them to wind we would return back to the service mooring leaving the winding hole totally clear.

Alizee ready to go to work

The tap is a slow one! As they filled their tank a horse box arrived with Alizee, the packet boat was made ready for a trip out, a coach arrived, passengers climbed onboard Iona, Alizee was walked around to the towpath, the health and safety talk was given, Alizee was toggled up to the rope and off the trip boat went, all the time we washed Oleanna, moving down to the starboard cabin side. At last their tank was full so we swapped positions so that they could wind with ease.

Alizee on her way back

As we returned all the poles and brushes to the roof a friendly Australian couple came for a chat. There was lots to talk about with them and we were glad, Mick more than me, for a break from the washing! I’d wanted to get the stern and well deck looking nice today too before we headed back towards Guildford, but it wasn’t to be. Not the Australians fault but a blank spot in my vision, the start of another migraine!

Sunday evenings view

So we returned to the mooring by the winding hole and Mick tucked us in tightly whilst I retired below with some pills. No more washing and no going anywhere.

The meadows by Cattershall Lock

Monday morning and I certainly wasn’t going to be rushing around for anyone. We took our time, ran the washing machine again and then moved back to the water point to top the tank up. With this done we slowly made our way down stream. Catteshall Lock needed resetting, the two of us operating paddles and gates as plenty of gongoozlers looked on.

About to jump in again behind us

Trowers Footbridge was busy, two lads jumping into the river, had they seen us coming? A short toot of our horns and they knew we were there. We pulled in at the pub mooring for some food and then decided to carry on.

Blue blue skies

The sun was out and so was everyone. Approaching Unstead Lock we could see that we were following someone who was already on their way down. A dozen or so young people stood around the lock, music in the back ground, all a touch damp around the edges. As we approached, the bottom gates were being closed by them, brilliant we could fill the lock. They helped with the gates and watched patiently as we dropped down the lock. As soon as we were out of the way the gates were closed again and a figure at the top gates could be seen winding the paddles up. They’d been waiting to get their swimming pool back again. Each of them harmless, wanting to have fun, we just hope they understand the dangers of locks.

Waiting for us to go

At Broadford Bridge I waited in the bow with tape measure in hand. Mick slowed Oleanna right down so that the gap between our horns and the underside of the bridge could be measured. The gap was between 5 and 6 inches from this and the height board from the bridge I could work out our height above the water. We’ve had a height given to us before, but today with a full water tank and a half diesel tank we could do our own maths. 6ft 2ish, give or take half an inch, well if the river level board was correct.

2 meters minus 6 inches

6ft 2inches is the maximum height of Standedge Tunnel. Before the chimney was trimmed it sat at a similar height to the top of the horns, it being off centre had always worried us, hence it having been trimmed. We now know that when the time comes we’ll need to remove the horns from their bracket, giving us around 4 to 5 inches leeway.

Waiting for the lock to be set

St Catherines Lock basked in the sunshine again and then we were down in the reach of the river we planned on mooring in. My head and I could now take it easy. More swimmers and bridge jumpers were expected and they didn’t disappoint.

Rather a lovely mooring

We pulled in opposite the big posh houses/flats on the off side by the meadows. Further to walk into town from here but far more pleasant for Tilly, just so long as she keepst her tail down away from the electric fence!

Willow trees are great

3 locks, 600ft back and forth, 3.57 miles, 1 clean roof and side, 1 left, 2 pink pills, 4 none yellow yellow pills, 2nd horse, 14 swimmers, 6ft 2, 1 clean kettle, 1 sour dough woken up, 250 grams mince in the bin, 1 head on the mend.

Yesterdays Property

£379,000 for two bedrooms with painted floorboards and wonky walls.,gu7-ref-4822884/

Edwin and Gertrude. 27th July


The Pepper Pot, once the town hall

Godalming Museum is small but crammed full of information. Quite often such places are all about face, information here and there all jumbled up. Others consist of someones collection of bits and bobs and not much else, these range from mildly interesting to far far too much eagerly collected information that over powers you and to appreciate them fully you’d need a year or two of concerted effort. Godalming Museum is very well thought out, packed with information should you choose to look it up.

Lutyens with his T square and Jekyll with spade and cat

There is a room dedicated to two locals, Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. Lutyens was a famous architect who adapted traditional architectural styles to the needs of his times, designing numerous country houses in the Arts and Crafts style, the Cenotaph in London and much of New Dehli, India.

He was commissioned by Gertrude Jekyll to design Munstead Wood, a house for her and this was a start of their professional partnership. Gertrude would design the gardens that went long with Edwin’s houses, quite a package, if you could afford them.

A model of a statue of Gertrude sadly never made

The room is filled with sketches, cartoons and a scale model of what would have been a wonderful statue of Gertrude had it been made.

Maybe some of this would help with my back

Upstairs are rooms about the history of Godalming. Shallow places on the River Wey encouraged the Saxons to settle in the area. The river also became a natural barrier for King Alfred holding back the Vikings and in WW2 pill boxes were built along it’s length. Mills played a large part in Godalmings history, with corn, fulling, paper, gunpowder mills and tanneries. In 1881 the River Wey powered the worlds first public electricity supply, but sadly due to flooding and technical difficulties the town returned to gas lighting three years later.


From the 17th Century Godalming became the centre of the framework knitting industry. Framework knitters worked long hours producing stockings in wool, silk and by the 1760’s cotton. Several framework machines are on display far more complicated than my knitting machine back in Scarborough. How I would love a sock knitting machine, giant french knitting for grown ups!

Please Father Christmas

A wall of magnetised photographs of local people ‘The Peoples Gallery’, all collated as Artists, Heroes, Writers, Booksellers etc caught our eye. Just browsing through the photos you want to know why they were important. A computer and large lever arch files hold a lot of information about everyone. From Jack Philips the junior wireless operator on the Titanic, who learnt his skills at Godalming Post Office. To Galton and Simpson who wrote Hancocks Half Hour and Steptoe and Son. To Chennell and Chalcraft who were hung on 14th August 1818, on the Lammas Lands for murder and parricide. To Mary Tofts who gave birth to rabbits!

Mick managed to find details of Charterhouse School, where his Great Uncle Norman taught mathematics from 1909 to 1945. Sadly he wasn’t famous enough to manage to get on the People’s Gallery.

At 15:58 we stopped what we were doing and waited and watched as the clock mechanism from the old Town Hall wound itself up to chime 4 pm. Chains, whirling things and of course a bell sounded the hour.

Church Street

A large map adorned a wall of one of the archive rooms. This showed the layout of the town with illustrations of the buildings to be found there. On leaving the museum we decided to have a look at a couple of the streets that had looked interesting, so we walked down Mill Lane towards the station.

Sugar coated cottage

Pretty house after pretty house. The roses on the house at the end of Mint Street such a picture.

Different textures, angles nothing at 90 degrees

Further down one skewed property made me want to get a sketch book out to record it’s uniqueness, my photograph doesn’t do it justice, the lense removing the gingerbread quality it had.

Property Game

A semi, it possibly floods every now and then.

An old mill sits by a mill stream, maybe this was where electricity was generated. The station sits proudly on the other side of the narrow valley, a KX telephone box from the 80’s spoiling the view along with modern ticket machines outside.


Plenty more properties delighted our eyes as we made our way back into the main shopping area. A sweet shop with chilled medication naturally drew us inside. Over the last few hot days we have had a distinct lack of chilled medication, so it was time to make up for it. Both opting for Salted Caramel cones, mine a gluten free one, the first I’ve tried. Despite the usual shrinking factor that tends to come with the lack of gluten and an extra 50p (!) it was just as crispy and tasty as a standard waffle cone.

Gosh mine looks bigger than Mick’s in the photo

0 locks, 0 miles, 2 trips into town, 2 hours at the museum, 8p short! 2 many knitting needles to count, 1 caseless clock, 15th century buildings, 2 many famous people, 1 very pretty town, 1 museum well worth a visit, 3rd shore leave in one day, 1 packet boat back on it’s mooring, 1 pram cover re-erected.