Ten Bob Note  

Wednesday 10th October 2007

Location: Bisham, Berkshire, Thames

Today: 15 miles, 6 locks. Total distance: 731 miles.  Total locks: 482

Grey start, warm later. Good t-mobile 3g reception here

Woke up to a reasonably nice bright day after all of the rain yesterday but it was dull and depressing being moored in the damp and the darkness under the trees.

Check on the web and there is a train every hour from Reading to Henley on Thames so decided to head for Henley thinking that there would be some public moorings in a more open and brighter spot.

Pulled the pins and headed on down river to Henley. While passing through the final lock before Henley (Marsh Lock), I asked the lock keeper if he could advise on the best place locally to moor for a couple of nights. He informed me that there were moorings before Henley bridge at £8 per night then more moorings after the bridge at around £6 per night. I asked him where the next free moorings were and he laughed. When he finished laughing he explained that I would have to go all the way down to Marlow before I would find anything that did not have a charge for it. Being used to living on the canal system where you pay British Waterways a license fee and mooring is free anywhere on the towpath side of the canal, I begrudge having to pay money on top of the Environment Agency license in order to moor up for the night. £6 per night is not a lot of money in the overall scheme of things but it is £6 more than I am willing to pay for mooring at a bit of river bank with no added facilities.
I decided to press on down river thinking that there must surely be a bit of river bank somewhere that I could moor up at without being charged. I was wrong, I had to travel all the way to Bisham, one mile before Marlow before I found a spot that I could stick the stern in for a night or two.

On the way down to Bisham, I arrived at one of the locks a 13:02, the lock keeper had gone to lunch. As it turned out, the lock has been updated and the hydraulics are left powered up out of hours so this was my chance to have a play with a powered lock. Some photos below to show the control panel. All in all, they are a very simple to operate – even single handed.

Passed some lovely houses on the way down stream, a few photos below.

At one point while plodding down stream, a funny slapping sound started coming from the engine bay under my feet. I drove the boat into some bushes and tied the centre rope to a branch so that I could investigate (surprise surprise – there was no where in sight to stop and moor up). It turned out that the drive belt to the 240V alternator had partially come off the pulleys and had partially shredded and the loose ends were flapping about and slapping other parts of the engine. I managed to trim off the loose bits and left it running on the remaining good bit of belt. The belt is now about two thirds of the width that it was. I intend to leave it like that until it decides to give up the ghost.

Met up with a couple of small steam boats out to play for the day – photos below. One of the steam boats, Consta, went past me while I was doing just over 5 MPH so they can shift on a bit!!

All in all, a long and busy day - 15 miles and 6 locks (by my standards) and more moans from me about mooring facilities on the Thames!!

Update Thursday 11th
Walked with dogs into Marlow to take a look at the moorings. Just as you arrive in Marlow there is a stretch of free 24 hour moorings. There is about 200 feet of space available before the charged for moorings start.

Walked on to the Marlow lock as I had been told that there were some free 24 hour moorings just below the lock. I found them no problem. Again, there is about 200 feet of moorings but they are under large trees and very dark. A spoke to a guy fishing at the moorings and he told me that one of the boats that was currently moored there had been there for days and no one bothers to check much at this time of year.

I washed the boat roof this afternoon (photo below) as it was badly needing it. It took almost three hours to do it. It needs a coat of paint and I have the paint on board but I need somewhere where I can moor up for a week to give the paint time to harden before I put all of the bits and pieces back on the roof for travelling. Maybe next spring ??

Current mooring - just the stern is into the bank


Dansfield House on the hill, Hurley

The boat house is built of stone in the fashion of a castle

Henley on Thames - not a free mooring to be had for miles!!

Steam boat Consuta just about to set off

Steam boat Wisp - note shine on boiler

Some riverside houses

Lock control panel

Ten Bob Note looks small on it's own in the lock!!

Washed the roof - Thursday 11th


Material Copyright © 2007 Ernie Williams
This page last modified on: 23 April, 2014 3:49 PM