Sunday, 22 June 2014

THE WEDDING PARTY

We were moored alongside and friendly yet unprepossessing marina in Caversham, the darker side of Reading. Sian and I were crewing again for the MV Cantara of Dart.

11:45
The Bride and Groom and the rest of the Party presented themselves along side. We served the campaign and canapés.

13:00
A discussion with bride (Sarah) and groom (Sam) and we were off downstream our destination was Temple Marina twenty or so miles downstream just upstream from Marlow.

From Reading to Henley



Passing the entrance to the Kennet and Avon Canal and for a few moments were racing neck and neck with the Great Western train impatient for London.

High spirits on-board, grey skies and a chill breeze, and the wedding finery was soon swapped for warm pullovers and a trousers. Canoeists bobbed along like a flock of dockings.

14:00
Pretty pretty Sonning Lock and then further down stream through posh Wargrave, closer now to Henley-on-Thames.

15:00
From Henley to Temple Marina 
Through Marsh Lock and on the Henley, now well advanced with its preparations for The Regatta. We glide under the bridge. The Regatta course now clearly in place and a few crews at practise this afternoon. All the Stands are up ready for the throng.

15:40
Pretty Temple Island marks the beginning of the Regatta’s course. A lovely piece of neo classic nonsense stands on the island’s manicured lawn.

16:20
We pass through Hurley Lock, all darkness and moorhens and so then into Temple Marina. Sian and I hope off, the sun comes out for a moment, and the Party continue a little way further to moor up outside their favourite pub.


FIVE IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT THE THAMES: BETWEEN CAVERHSAM AND TEMPLE MARINA

1 1. There is a traditional post box embedded into one of the buttresses of Sonning Bridge. The Daily Mail reported ‘Even psychic Uri Geller, who lives in Sonning, admitted he was stumped by the mystery of the letterbox.
 
2.     Every August, the Wargrave & Shiplake Regatta is held over two days and has been since 1867.
 
3.    Henley Royal Regatta is one of the highlights of the English social season. Held over a           5 day period there are 200 races to watch.
 
4.     The Leander Club, close to Henley Bridge on the Berkshire side, is one of the oldest rowing clubs in the world.
 
5.     The wall paintings in the ornamental temple on Temple Island are thought to be the earliest surviving example of the Etruscan style in the country.