Category Archives: Ice Cream

Hopping Friends. 11th August

Marlow to Upper Thames Rowing Club

Just a small third house!

Boats were on the move this morning, we pushed off and joined in with them. Ear wigging the trip boat yesterday when it came past with three passengers, I learnt that the three big houses before All Saint’s Church in Bisham were all owned by the same man. The first he bought for £8 million, the second for £12 million, which he gave to his brother. Sadly he was out of ear shot by the time he said how much the third house was. Wonder who the chap gave it too?

Arriving at the lock

Temple Lock was on Self Service and a cruiser had arrived ahead of us and a small narrowboat. We all squeezed in the small lock and rose up.

Pretty boats

Half a mile on was Hurley Lock, Lockies were on duty here and after admiring the slipper launches at Freebody Peter and Co (most of which were under wraps) the three of us slotted into the lock again. The volunteer noted that between us there were two visitors and an EA licence holder.

Medication and NB Huffler

Everyone was wanting water so we pulled in and waited our turn to use the giant hose. We took longer than the others to fill as we’d taken the opportunity of putting a load of washing in the machine as we’d left Marlow. Other boats came up the lock including a large blue wide beam and a narrowboat.

Chatting away

We gradually caught these chaps up as they cruised side by side having a good chat to one another. The river was wide enough as we passed the lovely moorings at Medmenham.

The tone of Oleanna’s engine changed, now what was that. A burst of reverse didn’t do anything to stop it, was there something around the prop? Well this was a different noise, we could pull in at the next possible place or carry on to the lock. Then Mick had an idea as to what it might be, the weedhatch cover might have worked a touch loose. This was worth checking.

Dragons on roofs

Now before everybody goes checking their weedhatches please note our weedhatch is totally separate to our engine bay as we have a Tyler Wilson shell. A loose weedhatch on most boats can result in water making it’s way into the engine bay as the prop turns, this can lead to boats sinking. Ours being separate means that we can never flood the engine bay. Mick took Oleanna out of gear and lifted the lid on the stern deck. Nothing obviously loose. A tap with the lump hammer to tighten things up, he put her into gear, the noise was gone.

An older panel on Hambleden Lock

Up ahead was Hambleden Lock and a very long queue waiting to go up. The boats we’d shared with earlier filled the lock landing, so we trod water until they moved up. The wind caught the narrowboat ahead of us pushing him right over into the bushes on the off side, he eventually regained control and pulled in to the lock landing. Here we could now see that the lock was on Self Service. With two single handers in front I wandered up to push the buttons.

The lock emptied and I could see a couple of boats heading down stream so left the gates open for them to come into the lock. Now I’m not sure whether the Self Service sign was on the lock gate at the top, but nobody offered to assist with the buttons. This may of course have had something to do with what I was wearing!

An EA Volunteer

EA Lockies either wear white shirts or dark polo shirts, the volunteers wear a pale blue polo shirt with a red life jacket. Now this morning I had inadvertently put on the costume of a volunteer lockie!

Going down

Boats came into the lock slotting in nicely, then a narrowboat indicated where I’d like him to be, well I didn’t really care, that’s when the penny dropped. I did my best to stand away from the buttons and to not act like a Lockie. One lady asked if I was on duty, ‘NO, just waiting to come up myself. I’m quite happy to push buttons for everyone but I take no responsibility for anything!’ She laughed, the others on their boats still could only see my pale blue t-shirt.

I pressed the buttons and down they all went.

In filed the boats from below, whilst they’d waited they had all sorted out what order they’d come in to make the most of the space, Hambledon Lock is far bigger than the other two we’d been through this morning. The narrowboat and widebeam pulled in at the front side by side, Oleanna next with a cruiser alongside, then a smaller cruiser. There was most probably enough space for another bigger cruiser but I wasn’t going to make that call, so I left it to the captain. He dithered so I closed the gates.

Us on the way up

Hambledon is the last of the sideways filling locks, so the bow rope was passed round a bollard several times before I was going to push buttons again. Ah , but wait there was a Lock Keeper in a white shirt, I could step down. I held my rope. He tinkered with something at the back of the button cabinet, checked that the two single handers knew the lock filled sideways and then headed into his cabin.

We held our ropes, we all watched as he came out, watered his hanging baskets and disappeared again. ‘I think we’re still on Self Service then!’ Time to step back up and push those buttons. The sideways filling seemed to be a lot gentler on self service and my four times round the bollard held well when I wasn’t in attendance. The Lock Keeper chipped in with ‘It won’t open until it’s ready to’. Nice that he acknowledged me.

Mental note, leave the pale blue t-shirt in the wardrobe whilst on the Thames.

Temple Island

Around the bend and past Temple Island which marks the start of the Henley Royal Regatta. This happens every year in early July and the whole of Henley and it’s surrounding area get taken over by it for months.

Tent city going up

Today large bells tents stood all in lines stretching almost as far as you could see. Today these were being erected for the Rewind Festival which takes place next weekend with music and all sorts. This looked like seriously posh camping, you can of course slum it by bringing your own tent!

Over taking the central lane

Now on the straight we had a trip boat, the widebeam and narrowboat still wanting to chat to each other, us a cruiser and a small cruiser all heading in the same direction and a day boat heading towards us. Everyone adopted their chosen cruising speed. The widebeam and narrowboat ahead were of course the slowest and sat bang in the middle of the river, not pulling over to let people overtake. The trip boat just went for it on their port side, we were trying to get out of the way of the smaller cruiser, it was mayhem! In the end all the upstream boats managed to over take, be overtaken whilst the on coming day boat really didn’t know which way to turn. In the end they were guided to a gap left for them.

As soon as the moorings on the offside showed themselves we pulled over and brought Oleanna to a stop right by a gantry that it turns out was still left from the regatta. We’d just finished tying up when a four by four arrived for his mooring fee.

A chat with the director for Vienna was accompanied by a torrential down pour, but then the afternoon brightened up so we went for a walk to see what Henley had to offer.

Henley

A pretty place with a wide main street. Independent shops along with a few chain stores, not that much was open so late on a Sunday afternoon. There was the same bunting that had been up in Marlow, the church has a tower rather than a spire and there isn’t much on street parking.

George Harrison lived here at one time, but did you know that in 1722 the mayor of Henley was also called George Harrison. In 1930 Norman Wisdom applied for a job in a pub in the town but he was told he was too small and sent packing. Other interesting things about Henley look here.

A bog standard panto poster

We looked at the local theatre and then went down to the river by the bridge. Launches tried to pull in to visit the pubs. A small section available for such things, mooring up to plant tubs and railings. We watched and then went to look at the pretty boats.

Hemp
fenders

How come there are so many pretty wooden boats on the Thames and so few on other rivers that we’ve noticed? Money has to be the reason. The finish on the boats is just beautiful and their rope fenders wrapped around their bows so pretty, just a shame there is so much dog pooh on the pavements!

PomPom!

My favourite boat was Tiddley Pom Pom, mainly because my Mums Dad was known to everyone as PomPom, the man with Pontefract Cakes and Nuttall’s Mintos in his pockets. For a few minutes we did consider changing Oleanna’s name, but that wouldn’t be right.

Playing in the big field

The sun was back out when we got back to the boat, so we sat out to keep Tilly company for a while. Not enough trees for my liking, but I could scoot around on my side amongst the interesting smelling grass. There were two trees that I checked out, but they were boring, in fact it was all quite boring until…… BUNNIES!!!!

Shhhh, got to keep that bloomin bell quiet

Loads and loads of BUNNIES!!!

Hoppy friends

Property Game

Tudor style with 6 bedrooms.

3 locks, 7.18 miles, 2 little locks, 3 dragons, 1 chilled medication boat, 1 big lock, 1 wrong choice of clothes, 5 down, 5 up, 1 Lockie occupied elsewhere, £10 in ten minutes, 2 much pooh, 2 pints milk, 1 pink chewbacca,  hour playing with Tilly, 2 bottles of botanics, 31 hopping friends! O brought home, 1 theatre in definite need of Puss in Boots next year.

Yesterdays Answer

£400,000, very pretty too, so it should be

https://www.andrewmilsom.co.uk/properties-for-sale/property/4967368-riverside-bourne-end

£3,250,000 a glittertastic house with cinema but no fitted kitchen.

https://search.savills.com/property-detail/gbmwrsmls190053

Well Ade, only 10k out on the little house, but miles away on the bigger one.

More Kings And Queens. 5th August

Hampton Court Palace

Fountain Court

The Palace isn’t just Tudor, it was a Palace for other Kings and Queens too. When William III took the throne in 1689 he asked Christopher Wren to design a new Baroque palace . Originally the Tudor Palace was to be demolished, but the cost was to be too much for the Royal purse. Instead a third of the palace was replaced.

Pistols and daggers, who needs wallpaper

A grand staircase with small steps and huge painting takes you up to William’s state apartments. This was and still is an impressive way to enter. As with Henry VIII, visitors were vetted before being let through to the following rooms. The guard chamber is almost encrusted with weaponry showing Williams hunger for war. These were not just for show, but could be used by the army should the need arise.

Possibly the first chandelier of it’s kind in the country

Next follows a succession of chambers each with a throne and canopy. The further on you got the less fancy the canopy, but the chair beneath got comfier. Large paintings cover the walls and other than the throne there is little furniture in the rooms, instead they would have been filled with beautifully dressed courtiers. By the time you reach the Privy Chamber the chair is fluffed up and plump the canopy has disappeared, a wonderful crystal chandelier hangs in the centre of the room which lines up wonderfully with the Privy Garden outside.

Ginormous bed just for show
A very busy ceiling that would keep anyone awake

A huge bed sits in the Great Bedchamber, this is where the King was dressed in view public, an incredible painted ceiling above faces the on looker not the king. This was all for show, which the King would rather have lived without.

Padded toilet on a chest. Maybe a precursor to a Kilwick

Below the grand rooms are the more private apartments where the King really lived his life. Here his collections of favourite paintings hang on ropes, many of them night time scenes now hard to distinguish their content. The Orangery houses the orange and bay trees during the winter months, gives a great view down the Privy Garden.

The private dining room

These are less flamboyant rooms, cosy and homely. In his private dining room he surrounded himself with full length portraits of the Hampton Court Beauties. The serving area could be closed off after the meal leaving the king and his guests in peace.

Queen Anne followed doing a touch of remodelling herself. The Royal Chapel which had stained glass and a fantastic blue and gold ceiling from Henry VIII’s time was altered. The window frames left in place, but the glass depicting Henry, Katherine and Wolsey are long since gone. Much of the lower walls are now wood, vertical parquet covers the wall behind the alter and huge wooden columns attempt to hold up the Tudor ceiling. Sadly you’re not allowed to take photos here, the ceiling is great.

The Queens staircase

Then came the Georgians. George I built a set of rooms for his son in which he and his wife entertained lavishly. A new kitchen was also built which you can now stay in as it is one of the Landmark Trust properties, The Georgian House.

What a ceiling

When George II succeeded his father in 1727 the palace entered it’s last phase as a royal residence. The Queens staircase had a make over by the architect William Kent with Roman niches and trompe l’oeil panels below another great painted ceiling.

Two jolly chaps

The Queens Guard Chamber has quite a fireplace. Two men, possibly Yeomen of the Guard have the huge mantle piece resting on their hats. Here as else where in the Palace visitors would be vetted before being let further into the rooms.

Napkin artistry

The Public Dining Room is decorated with more impressive painting and a large table shows off a display of napkin artistry.

Wonderful costumes

Stood in the room are white costumes made from fibrous paper, these represent members of the court and have a small resume on their bodices or cuffs.

The period detail sewn into them is wonderful. There is a more sociable feel to these rooms than those of earlier periods. Courtiers would play games, gambling, loosing hundreds of thousands of pounds.

A bit more painting, anyone would think this was a palace!

By 1737 George II no longer wanted to use Hampton Court as a royal palace so it was filled with grace and favour residents. The accommodation not the best, some residents didn’t have access to hot water. Many residents were widows who’s husbands had worked for the monarch. This continued until the 1960’s and there are still a couple of elderly residents still living in the Palace.

A modern addition

In 1838 Queen Victoria decided to let the public see inside the palace and opened up its doors, this proved to be very popular.

Looking back to the house from the Privy Garden

The Privy Garden needed a closer look, especially as there was a nice boat moored just outside the Tijou Screen (a shame they still haven’t finished painting it!). After a fire damaged the palace in 1986 the decision was taken to restore the privy garden back to how it had been in William III’s time. The trees were kept clipped at 7 to 8 ft high and a view of the Thames was possible. This in later years had been left to grow and had got quite out of hand, no longer could the palace be seen from the river.

Mum feeding her not so small chick

During August there is plenty happening. The King Henry VIII’s sporting academy is taking place throughout the gardens. Real Tennis is played on the indoor court, there is fencing and sword fighting, wrestling, crossbow and falconry displays.

Royal Medication of the chilled variety

After quite a busy day we deserved some chilled medication and a good job we got it when we did as the stand closed soon afterwards. Mick had Chocolate Brownie and I had a very good Raspberry Sorbet, no gluten free cones today though!

From the rose garden

Other areas of the grounds are open to the public. The Rose and Kitchen garden were worth a wander around, plenty growing in the vegetable beds, they even had some Royal Blackberries!

Royal Harry
and his mate Dwain

Even though we’d been a touch reluctant to buy two full price tickets to the palace we were amazed at what we got for our money. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, so much to see and do. We didn’t quite manage to see everything so we may come back another time to look at the galleries and go round the maze, however, we’ll try to time that with a two for one offer.


Property Game

This one was built by it’s current owners and has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.


Yesterdays Answer

https://www.tudorandco.co.uk/properties/12395356/sales

£1,295,000 no chain and it’s detached!

Sorry Ade, at least you were only a million out this time!

Dapdune 31st July

Guildford Willow Meadows to Dapdune Wharf

The Guildford Scholar

Having put off till tomorrow, due to the rain, we needed to go into town. There was the bank to visit, the new security measures being brought in for online banking had meant that I’d managed to lock myself out of my account! We also needed new vacuum bags to store things in under the bed. In the past we’ve had various types and gradually they have all failed, so this time we’ve gone for robust and protected ones with their own tote bags. We couldn’t remember off hand how big the storage area is under the bed and they don’t come in ‘about this by that and that’ sizes! So we will have to have a measure before we open any of the packaging up and I have a note of the different sized bags that are available.

Tying to a tree, always good practice!

A top up on food and we headed back to Oleanna, hopping over the ropes from a day boat, we know they are given spikes as yesterdays boaters gave up hammering them in to also use the trees!

Yumm

As we’d had a good breakfast today no lunch was required. We pushed off and made our way back into town, dropped down Millmead Lock with two swans who were quite impatient for the gates to open and then wound our way under all the roads.

Inviting themselves
Plenty of room for everyone

Our hope had been to get a mooring at Dapdune Wharf so that we could have a look around before carrying on our way. Coming round the last bend the wharf lay empty, not one boat moored there, just a mass of paddle boarders. Instructions were shouted to all the wobbly people and space was made for us to come into the side.

Dapdune wharf

The view one way was good, lots of people admiring me. But on the other side I wasn’t impressed! A high wall which gave tantalising views of people walking past and what looked like an interesting roof line. She said I wouldn’t like it, so instead of letting me out they went off and had a look round.

Paddleboarders

Dapdune Wharf was used for goods transshipment and latterly for barge building and maintenance. The site is now the National Trusts administrative offices for the navigation along with a visitor centre. After we’d had a cuppa watching the next batch of novice paddle boarders getting their confidence (or just getting wet!) we had our membership cards scanned and started to have a look round.

Reliance a Wey Barge

For over 150 years the Stevens family played an important role in the development of the navigation, first as Lock Keepers then onto management of a substantial transport business along the navigation. By 1902 the Stevens brothers gained full ownership of the navigation. The Edwards family was brought in and Wey Barges were built at Dapdune. The boats kept transporting goods into the 60’s and the navigation was finally handed over to the National Trust in 1964.

The Smithy

Here you can see the smithy, originally the nail store, given away by there not being a chimney. Repair sheds (now used to house the electric trip boats). A gunpowder store, building shed, a carpenters shed, a steam chest (where timber was steam so that it could be bent into shape for the hulls). And Reliance an original Wey Barge built in 1931-32 which is no longer water tight so sits on a frame above the graving dock.

Boys! They never grow up

There are displays with 3D maps and Mick spent quite a bit of time playing with a model that demonstrates how locks work. Well if the water pressure had been enough he wouldn’t have been able to level the two pounds and the lock meaning both ends of the lock could be opened at the same time!

Printed fabric and paper
Giant teapot

Around the site there were a few pieces of art from Farnham College of Art. A couple made from fabric and paper were vaguely interesting, one a sheet and some rope was just taking up space, but the best one was a giant cottage teapot on a trolley, the smithy had been filled with such teapots also. My photo makes the trolley look like it’s been made in miniature.

Medication, twice in one week

Still with a few more sheds to check out as they were closing, we decided to stay for the night. A nice mooring apart from the trains going over the bridge close by, they are so noisy! But as the sun vanished out of sight numerous bats swooped, ducked and dived past Oleanna enjoying a major feast. They were so busy Mick decided to close the hatch in case they decided to swoop in.

1 lock, 1.25 miles, 4 digits changed, 1 pointless phone call, 3 nights food, 2 big bags, 5 veg bags, 2 trip hazards, 1 Liza, 2 swans, 8 boards, 1 nervous lad blossoming into a smiley goon, 2 chilled medications, 1 resigned cat, 3 hyperactive bats at least, 01:15 the last noisy train tonight!

The mystery plant I believe is Dipsacus fullonum, more commonly known as a Teasle. Coming across one on the path made it very obvious. Thank you Debby for your suggestion.

Edwin and Gertrude. 27th July

Godalming

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.

Stitches

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.

Choices!

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.