Monday, 29 July 2019

Black Sabbath

Went through one of my favourite locks on the Thames today, although called Mapledurham lock it is actually in the village of Purley which is on the south bank of the river, in Berkshire, not Oxfordshire. 
In 1956 it was the first lock to be mechanised using an electromechanical system, it was converted to hydraulic power in the early 1970s.

Mapledurham Lock today.
The original lock cottage has been demolished, a new one has been built on the opposite side of the lock, the lock chamber appears to have been extended and raised by a step or two.

Heres a useless snippet of information
The still functioning Mapledurham mill  was pictured on the sleeve of Black Sabbath's first album in 1970
Black Sabbath's first album sleeve.

Whitchurch Lock

Another short hop of two miles through Whitchurch lock, with the help of the lockkeeper I was trying to get the correct position to replicate the scene.

Whitchurch Lock 1949
From the lock, we can see our mooring spot on  Pangbourne meadow under the toll bridge.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Beale Park

A short cruise from Goring to Beale Park.
Goring Gap boat club's new boathouse.

Beale Park mooring.


Saturday, 27 July 2019

WW2 Wrens.

A lot cooler for today's cruise, a short stop at Wallingford before continuing to Goring.
11miles, 3 locks, 3hours.

The village and river are in the Goring gap which separates the Berkshire Downs and the Chiltern hills.

The river here forms the county border between Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

Wallingford bridge.

Lockkeeper is getting Goring lock ready for FL.
St. Thomas' church.bell tower.

The revamped Swan at Streatley

While at Goring we had an enjoyable evening at a performance of 'All Hands on Deck' by the Mikron Theatre company. A versatile cast of four told the story of two WW2 wrens.

The performance was adjacent to the lock.

Bring a chair,

Days Lock 1908 


Goring Lock 1905  (Postcard)

Today at Goring Lock. 


Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Now and Then

The roofs vents have been given a clean & polish, the first time they have been this shiny in 6 years. They should stay bright until the next rainfall.

Our favourite bit of the Thames has been left behind (for now) to all those craft that can negotiate Osneys low air draught bridge.

Osney bridge (

Port Meadow and Oxford spires in the distance

                                                                                                                                                                    Our first stopover on the hottest day of the year so far was at Sandford, we eat inside the cool rooms at the pub

Back on the boat the top hoppers and portholes were removed and front doors left open to make it comfortable to sleep.  This had me racing around at 01:30 to replace them all as a storm thundered overhead and drenched the boat.

On the move at 7am the following morning to share Sandon lock with a German hire crew, just a four-mile jaunt to Abingdon.

Did you know herons can't read?

That is the first time I have managed to get the engine in a bridge shot.

Entering Abingdon lock.


Then and Now

Abingdon Lock and steamboat  1915 (postcard)
The lock house wasn't built until 1928, an early style lockkeeper's hut can be seen lockside. The covered wier walkway is visible in both photos on the left.

Abingdon lock 2019 a trip boat is entering the lock.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Upper Thames

We have been enjoying the upper Thames for the last month, our daughter and her boyfriend came to Lechlade and pitched their tent at the campsite, we had a lovely couple of days with them before they went off to Birmingham to a Kiss concert.

Chilling out at our favourite locations have been hard work, lots of wildlife to watch and listen too. It was nice to have a catch up with Sue and Vic who are also enjoying the upper reaches this year.   

Pinkhill long term moorings

Chimney Nature Reserve at 5am

Under Radcot bridge.

I am wondering if the waterways will revert back to MPH after Brexit.

Waiting on Buscot lock landing

St Johns lock at Lechlade
New gate beams

A few participants of the  Lock to Lock challenge

We head off the Thames for a few days to go to another funeral, we have been going too far too many lately.

On our return, we will spend a good while on the middle Thames.