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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

A lovely stretch of the River Thames.


After our visit to town last night we got back to a lovely evening over the river.

We set off around 0900 and it was very quiet on the river at that time. Yesterday had been really busy with loads of traffic about.

Just before the bridge across the Thames is the boat house of the Leander Club. Through the bridge this looked like the club house of the Club. It was founded in 1818 and built a club a boat house in Henley in 1897. A club member won their first Olympic medal in 1908 and of course Cracknell, Pinsent and Redgrave were members.

Elton John will be performing on this stage tonight as it is the first week of the Henley Festival. There are miles of bars and stands and eating opportunities being taken down after the Henley Regatta last week.

This is looking up the rowing course. During the Festival it seems that we are allowed to go up the course on a one way system.

Looking back towards Henley. Boats are just moored at the posts in the middle and I think it is free, but to moor on the bank I hear it was £100!

The Temple on Temple Island was built in 1771. Then island was sold by the Mackenzie family in 1988.

This is Helen's choice of new house for today, and it is for sale. It is Medenham Abbey and was home to the Hellfire Club that was busy in the 18th Century which seems to have been the forerunner of sex and drugs and rock and roll. It has 9 bedrooms, cinema, spa, gym and music room. Yours for £10 million.

There seemed to be a hold up Temple Lock. There was no Keeper and everything was going slowly. We managed to get the bow on the end of the wall and Helen went to see what was occurring. I didn't see her again. She had a blue top on and a life jacket and folk assumed she was the Lock Keeper. She did a great job of getting boats in, taking ropes etc. I think she was a little upset to have to relinquish control. When it was our turn we went in behind a big hire cruiser. Another cruiser literally jammed itself in alongside us. So tight that he couldn't move backwards or forwards. I had to get them to tie off their stern rope and give 'Holderness' the gun to move out of the clutches of the fenders.

A lovely sky as we approached Marlow. We thought we were out of luck for a mooring but spotted 'Festina Lente' and 'Ferndale' at the end of the moorings with a space that was our size, so in we went.

The view from our side hatch. All Saints Church with the suspension bridge and I think it is the first photo of rowers.

We walked in to town as Helen is looking for a dress for a wedding and they have some nice shops here, apparently. Luckily there are plenty of sales on too. No luck on that front, but some were tried on. All Saints Church was built in 1835 on the site of a previous one built in the 11th Century.

Sir Miles Hobart was MP for Marlow when in 1629 he locked the King's Messenger out of the Chamber during a debate. For this he was put into the Tower for a short time. It was following this incident that we now have Black Rod having the Commons door shut in his face and having to knock for admittence at the State opening of Parliament. Shortly after leaving the Tower he was killed on Holborn in a carriage incident. This memorial is said to be the first one paid for out of the public purse in the country.

The Marlow Suspension Bridge was built by William Tiernay Clarke and opened in 1832. It was the prototype of the one he built to join Buda and Pest over the Danube in Hungary. At the time the Hungarian one was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

Walking back through Higginson Park is this statue of five time gold medal Olympic Champion Steve Redgrave who is a native of Marlow.

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