Monday, 20 January 2020

'Twas a cold and frosty morning ...

on Saturday (18th) here at Hambleden Marina
at 7:30
and the River Thames is still rising!

It's even deep enough on 'our' lawn for the Grebe to dive for fish!
And it's still only just above freezing at nearly 10 o'clock.
 The male Great Spotted Woodpecker is back and is fancying the nuts today for a change
But the sun is shining!

We're off for a walk but first we need to be able to get off the pontoon ...
and take a quick look at the weir ... blimey ... that's running fast!

Walking up to Hambleden village we see the calves galloping about the field ... so funny!







There's always one who has to be different!
Arriving at the village shop and post office and we've never noticed the telephone box in the wall before.






Sitting on a bench eating a flapjack for energy ...






looking at the amazing views

Passing the impressive Jacobean Manor house ...


and walking through Hambleden Estate ...


onto Rotten Row on our way home

This is where the mill stream (our mooring) comes in from the main river ... you may just be able to see the bridge hole on the water-line to the right of the narrow boat ... there is usually a gap of more than 3 feet, but today there is barely 3 inches!

‎Simon Shepherdson, Hambleden lock keeper ...
 to
Hambleden Lock UNOFFICIAL river conditions update, Saturday 18th January 1200hrs. Some good news, there was no recorded rainfall here in the last 24 hours. The tail level here has continued to climb rising six inches to 12’7” (4’11” above normal summer levels). The headwater has risen a further two inches and now +18” (14” above normal summer levels). The flow is now up to around 220m3/Sec. Red Boards displayed the entire length of the river. The towpath will be underwater in places. Access between Hambleden Lock and The Flowerpot remains dry.
When we got back to Still Rockin' ...
and out came the sun chairs and a cuppa tea onto the deck ...
where we sat for an hour or so watching the wildlife and the views.

A good day!

Saturday, 18 January 2020

A quiet time ...

after a hectic Christmas and New Year ...
Friday 10th saw a pair of swan visiting and setting on the lawn ...
but the woodpecker is a regular visitor to the bird feeders ...
while the Mallards take advantage of the sunshine and the droppings from the feeders
Monday 13th at 6:30 through the galley window ...
and the Mallards are pairing up ... good friends!
Wednesday 15th the river Thames is flooding once more ...








but the pontoon to which we're moored is not yet rising.

Sunrise just before 8 on Thursday with the moon still in the sky.
Yesterday the river has risen even higher; it's probably up about 3' now ...
   and the bottom step off the end of the pontoon is well under water and all red boards (no cruising) are up all along the non-tidal Thames once again.

The forecast for the next week or so is for very little, if any rain, so hopefully the river will subside to normal levels ... we shall see!

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

The Market Town of Newport, Shropshire ...

was planned as a 'new town' ... 
in the 12th century and granted its borough charter by Henry I.

The location of this new town was once surrounded by pools and meres and at times would have been under water, much of which was drained by Thomas Telford and formed the canal's wharf basin, now the town car park For more information click HERE

Taking a break from the renovation of Tea on the Cobbles on January 1st, I went on walk-about ...





The 12th century church of 
St Nicholas ...










which may have been so named and dedicated because of the fish connection of those meres since St Nicholas is the patron saint of fishermen.






The church stands between the High Street and the cobbled St Mary's Lane.  Parts of the building date back to the 14th Century ...






In the latter half of the 18th Century, there was extensive rebuilding of the church including the beautiful stained glass windows by Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris.
Back out on Newport's High Street ...
Georgian houses on the unusually wide main street.  The building on the left is Beaumaris House built in 1724 and is Grade II listed, as are many of the buildings in this historic town.


There are a number of these intriguing gated driveways in Newport, the one on the right it opposite Tea on the Cobbles and would at one time been part of a rope making facility when the 'walk' would have been as long as the rope being made.

I've mentioned that Newport's High Street is unusually wide ... this is because on the 19th of May in 1665 there was the Great Fire of Newport (a year before the great fire of London) when 156 houses were destroyed.  Charles II wrote to his subjects asking for help for the town and although it's not actually known if the appeal was successful, the town was rebuilt with an exceptionally wide High Street so that if another fire should occur, the flames would not catch onto the buildings on the other side of the road.  To read an actual account of the fire click HERE
During the great fire just a few buildings were unscathed, one of which is the Guildhall ...



Read more about this lovely old building here where you can view a video of the upper part of the original hall, now the council chamber.
The archway in the High Street  is incongruous ... the blue plaque below explains the facade ... 
Oops!

After a lovely wander through the town and walk along the canal, I return to Tea on the Cobbles ...
at number 3 St Mary Street
also a lovely 18th century building  Grade II listed.