There was a procession of bloggers passing this morning. 'Ewn ha Cul ' was first and just as we were readying to let go 'Ferndale and 'Festina Lente' passed heading for the lock. We spun round from the berth and they very kindly held the locks for us.
Sonning Bridge from down stream/
We think that this house in Uri Geller's house. Apparently George Clooney's gaff is around here too. I was surprised at the amount of security surrounding the house above. You would have thought that Uir would have been able to use his powere for detection and protection. Just £15 million and it is yours.
Once clear of the real estate we played 'tail end charlie' to 'Ferndale' in the lead and 'Festina Lente' ahead.
The convoy broke up when we arrived at the next lock, Shiplake as Ferndale and ourselves wanted to use the facilities. Just before we arrived a couple of boats came out of the lock and stopped off too. Fortunately they didn't take very long and we had a nice chat with the cruiser pair that let us go first anyway. This is Shiplake Railway bridge.
There were some very large and expensive houses along this stretch. There were not too many that I would actually want to live in as many were ugly to my eye. You can see why there is a shortage of building land in the south as each house was built in the area of an housing estate. Mind you you wouldn't know we are closing in on Greater London as the river seemed very secluded and tree lined.
The value of the boats was also increasing the further down the river we go. Even the little coggy boats and launches are getting very shiny with immaculate rope fenders. Last night a big cruiser had come out of the lock and the 'skipper' was detailing the missus to scrub the fenders that had been used.
Once we cleared Marsh Lock, and after the Lock Keeper had told us that we could be paying £30 to £100 a night for moorings we were fearing the worst. We were looking ahead to spot a space in good time until mu eye was taken by a lady jumping up and down and waving there arms. I thought they must have lost their dog, or were calling a boat. Oh yes, that was it they were calling a boat, US. It was Dot from 'Ewn ha Cul' who was inviting us to moor alongside. Then I noticed we were abeam of 'Ferndale' as we turned. We parked up on 'Ewn ha Cul' and started lunch when Gordon was knocking on the roof saying that there was a space further on so we started up and sped round and just pipped another boat to it. So thanks very much indeed Gordon and we promise to shower every week form now on! After lunch we walked into Henley along the Meadow along with hordes of others as it is a popular promenade. As we left there were massive clouds of acrid smoke. It's position looked like it was coming from the centre of town. By the time we got there the traffic was backing up all over the town as Hart Street had been closed and there were four appliances in attendance. I feared the worst, that it was the Catherine Wheel pub (Weatherspoon's) but it was a restaurant I think on the otherside of the street.
The Town Hall is the site of the Tourist information too and they were extremely helpful there too. The Town Hall was built to commemorate Queen Victoria's Jubilee 1901, despite it having 1900 on it. The old one was dismantled brick by brick and being rebuilt elsewhere as a private house by a Mayor who was also a builder. Nothing really changes does it.
Up the hill behind the Town Hall is 120 room Friar Park that was built in 1899 for Sir Frank Crisp an eccentric London solicitor to use as his weekend retreat! It is better known now as belonging to George Harrison.
Just opposite the entrance to Friar Park is this house with a little age. I liked the street name too.
Brakspear Brewery moved out of Henley in 2002 and moved to Witney to the Wychwood Brewery. They did take much of the machinery and equipment though. The old brewery site is now a hotel. They did have 200feet wells to pump up 38 million gallons of water a year.
Helen did a tour of a few of the shops with sales, and we even managed to get a couple of Christmas presents before we headed to Waitrose for a mini shop. Back to the boat, but we will venture out for a beer later.