Sunday, 11 October 2015

Pea Soup, Teamwork and happiness!

We waited until after 9am before pulling the pins on Friday
… there was just a fine mist over the water
… but just 10 minutes further on as we approach Sonning Lock it becomes a bit of a pea souper!
As expected the lock was on self-service so I’m in charge!

This is a beautifully kept lock, the gardens still have lots of colour -  fuchsias, cosmos, roses, asters etc.
… but I liked the pots best - 
Choisya, the purple leaves of Heuchera and happy faced violas.
There was a lot of water coming down the weir as we left the lock 
… making lining up for Sonning Bridge a bit more difficult. George Clooney’s house is on the right in the picture above the other side of the trees - I wonder if he’s got a view of the river over those trees?
Uri Geller’s leaving present to the people of Sonning so they don’t forget him! As if! Speaking to a local whilst in the lock he won’t be missed in a good way at all and apparently that red bent spoon doesn’t have planning permission!
Another Uri Geller metal piece outside Sonning Court his now sold home. Does the whole of the land alongside the river from the spoon to here belong to that one house?  Does anyone know?
10 o’clock and the sun has shown itself and we can feel a bit of warmth
… but it’s not having much effect on the fog!
Lovely flint and brick house opposite the services above Shiplake lock
Approaching the lock which once again is on self-service (no lock keeper in attendance)
A dutch barge was leaving as we arrived and a narrowboat waiting to go in and then there’s us too.  Sonning lock is 133’ long and 18’3” wide. SR is 62.5’ long and 11.5’ wide, the nb is no longer than us and 7’ wide so in theory both boats should fit one behind the other but not alongside each other   But this doesn’t take into the fact that there is a walkway on the inside of both gates which obstructs the boats. However, with a bit of discussion between the two crews we did it.  The narrowest point on a boat is obviously the bow so we entered behind the nb and stopped to slip the mooring ropes on the capstons with our bow a couple of feet beside the narrowboat and with a bit of effort to stop the boats moving too much as we descended below the walkways we were home and dry.  Teamwork is a great invention!

The sun has now burnt away the mist and it’s warmth on our shoulders is very welcome.
Some very impressive properties as we approach Henley ‘though I’m not sure if I like this one or not

Beautiful barley-twist chimneys on this one
I must take this photo just about every time we pass this way, it fascinates me and I’d love to know it’s history
More lovely chimneys here opposite Poplar Eyot (island)
Marsh Lock is next
… and this is myy view from the bow inside a lock.  Once the mooring rope is over the capston on the lockside I sit on a stool at the side of the bow deck and adjust the rope as Still Rockin’ descends or ascends the lock
The drop in Marsh lock is about 5’4” and here you can see the walkway on the inside of the lower gates as they open.

The sun makes the turbulent water from the weir stream sparkle as we leave the lock
We’ve cruised through Henley on Thames many times but have never moored here but that’s about to change.  George had been chatting to the guy on the narrowboat that we shared the locks with and he’s told us of good visitor moorings fairly close to town
So here we are, opposite Rods Eyot
… with good views
… all around us.
What an interesting cruise we’ve had today - fantastic!


  1. Hi Carol,

    Take a look at these two links, they make interesting reading ;)

    Alternatively click on this link -

    Select a parish = Sonning
    Select a Type = Decisions
    Keyword = Sonning Court

    That'll keep you entertained on a dismal Sunday :) LOL


    1. Thanks Kevin, I’ll definitely do that!

  2. The house that you would like to know more about, is (or at least was) the home of Vince & Annie Hill, who you may remember for his singing, I think he may still entertain guests aboard cruise ships.

    1. Thanks Alf, that may give me a start on my hunt for more information.


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