Ten Bob Note  

Monday 8th October 2007

Location: Sonning, Berkshire, Thames

Today: 15 miles, 3 locks. Total distance: 716 miles.  Total locks: 476

Cool greyday. Good t-mobile 3g reception here

Walked into town with the dogs to pick up the papers.

Pulled the pins around 08:30 and headed on south.

We were in need of some diesel so we phoned around half a dozen sources that we would be passing on our way down to Reading. We were quoted prices from 58 pence per litre up to 68 pence per litre. The cheapest being Better Boats which is close to Tesco in Reading. Stopped at Better Boats and took on 100 litres. Obviously you pay a premium on the rivers, the last diesel we bought was only two weeks ago back on the canals at Banbury where we paid 49 pence per litre which is much more reasonable.

We moored up outside Tesco and did a shop as it was so handy.

After Tesco, we set off looking for somewhere I could moor up for 3/4 days. We went down river about two miles from Tesco – no moorings. Turned around and went slowly back up river as far as Caversham lock looking out for a spot with water deep enough to moor – nothing. Turned just below Caversham lock and crawled slowly back down river looking out for any possible mooring spot. Eventually, just before Sonning lock we found some moorings – the bad news is that it is over three miles back to Reading train station. Am going to have to walk into Sonning from where we are moored and get a taxi – the closest road to the mooring is at Sonning bridge which is only about a quarter of a mile away.

It’s a real shame that the moorings on the Thames are so poor. I dread to think what it must be like in the summer when the river is busy with holiday traffic. I would have thought that a town the size of Reading would have good short term moorings. All it would take is to dredge a few hundred yards or so and put in some pilings.

The journey on the Thames so far has been very enjoyable with some wonderful scenery and interesting things to look at along the way. Due to the lack of moorings, I would only be tempted to use the Thames in future as a link to the Kennet & Avon from either Oxford or London as it is so difficult to stop and visit places along the way. When we are on the canals, we like to moor and walk a couple of miles or so with the dogs to have a look at some of the villages we are passing, we have not found this possible in many places on the Thames which is a huge shame.

We had a walk around Sonning late afternoon, a lovely village but you can hardly cross the road due to the amount of traffic flowing both ways through the place. The guide books indicate that there is a shop and post office in the village, we couldn’t find them and locals told us that they don’t exist.

Tuesday 9th
Woke up at 07:00 to the sound of rain just starting. Got up, put dressing gown on and went outside to put the pram hood up to stop too much water getting into the engine bilges. As the morning has gone on, the rain has turned much heavier so am glad I made the effort to get up and put the cover up.

The fire has been burning mostly logs for the last few days, they seem to give off a lot more heat than the coal. We only put coal on to keep the fire going over night.

Current mooring - taken Tuesday AM in the rain

Grey day on the Thames

Nice barge

Caversham water front


Material Copyright © 2007 Ernie Williams
This page last modified on: 23 April, 2014 3:48 PM