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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Airforce memorial and the dreaded Penton Hook lock.

No internet signal at Runnymead so another one of those disjointed posts I'm afraid.

Wednesday 19th
Found the Mooring Fee payable sign on leaving this morning. Tucked behind some cruisers and right by the start of the Marsh Meadow. One would never have seen it from where we were and I reiterate again the point of signs in full view along the whole length. Not only that but surely by law it must state how much we have to pay.

First lock at Cookham was a Self Service and we were joined by a cruiser. From the lady on board I was told that the meadow was owned by NT and for more times then she can remember(has cruised the Thames for over 20 years) been emailing and complaining about lack of signs. Strange that as at Runnymead where we stopped for the night NT has been very clear as to how much we have to pay yet they cant put proper signs and fee payable at Cookham.

Anyway we took a shade under 5 hours to arrive at Runnymead mooring up by 13.30. With rain forecast for later we had a quick bite to eat and headed off for the Magna Carta plinth. 

Had a photo taken here with my broken wrist in 2010 but more of that later.
Then it was off to find the Airforce memorial and that was no mean feat. We eventually found a couple who showed up which route to take, told us to go along the meadows until we see the purple marker post and follow the trail and steps to the top.  I was knackered by the time we got there. 6 months of inability because of my hip problems really told on me but by 'eck it was worth it. Very humbling to see how many died for us and not just from the UK. 

 Then another climb to the very top to admire the stunning views over Heathrow, Thames and London. Shame it was so dull but at least it was clear enough to see the shard and London eye.



Just make out the London Eye on the right.

Paddle steamer on the Thames

Windsor Castle

Got back to FS just before the rain started and boy did it rain. One good thing came of the persistent downpour.  No one came for the mooring fees.

This morning we left early, before 7am to be precise. Would really like to stop at Hampton Court but knowing of it's popularity hoped that by arriving at a reasonable time we might get lucky. First two locks were Self service and they were getting bigger and longer the further down stream we went

Bell Weir lock

The lock I dreaded most was the Penton Hook lock. Here six years ago I did a very stupid thing and broke my wrist. All about it if you fancy a look click here.

Penton Hook

Where I broke my wrist.

Journey was a good 'un and really quiet. Saw just three cruisers on the move in 2 hours. Most of the EA 24 hour moorings were devoid of boats. Very unusual for this time of year. It wasn't until we arrived at Sumbury lock that we met up with a narrow boat. Just come off the Wey and was getting a transit licence to Teddington.

Mosley lock and the last lock until we leave onto the tidal Thames at Teddington. Nb Zayela the only narrowboat on the move seen today.

Anyway reached Hampton Court and thankgoodness one mooring available right at the end. At £5 for 24 hours I thought that pretty good considering where we were. Off for a wander round now and then tomorrow it's Kingston on Thames.

On route (2 days worth) and not just wildlife

Why a giraffe???

Very noisy at Runnymead. Planes coming over head every 2 minutes


Windsor racecourse

Windsor Castle

High and dry after the floods perhaps?
Very neglected pair.


Mandarin duck (female)

Looks like she has a damaged R eye

Synchronized scratching.

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