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It is such a joy to be back in England and living by the Thames again. Not at  dear old Harleyford by Temple Lock, but at Maidenhead, by Boulter’s Lock. The trouble is, I keep finding things I should have included in my book  All Along the River, much to Rob’s annoyance!   For instance, we could have had a photo of the lovely group of  wintery willows above, which look like a golden  shower of fireworks.

I should definitely  have mentioned the historic 1920’s green phone box outside Boulter’s Lock pub, and more to the point, the famous thrice fried  chips they serve inside! The pub is built out over the river so it’s a great spot to dine.  It’s even better when, like us,  you can stroll along the towpath to it from your back door.   No problem about drinking too much either, unless you topple into the Thames on the way home. They serve brunch too….hmmm, think I like the sound of that. And Devonshire tea. Wow,  they should pay me for all  this.

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Tiny  Boulter’s Lock island is where the respected  BBC journalist Richard Dimbleby (father of David) used to live.  He is famous for having uttered the oath ‘Jesus wept!’ on air, after realizing that half an hour  of  vision had failed during a  televised royal  visit to West Berlin in 1965.  It was extremely restrained of him in my opinion.

And up at Cookham  there are two exotic residents I should  have included.  They weren’t there when I wrote the book so it’s not actually my fault.  Stanley Spencer would have painted them without a doubt, and they appear to get along quite well with the locals.

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Further upriver  at Marlow I realize I did not mention the riverside  Georgian mansion called Court Garden House. It was built in the 18th century for an absent minded doctor who. somewhat ironically,  specialized in mental illness. The saying goes   that he designed the house himself and  forgot to include a staircase, which had to be added later.  His name  was Doctor Battie, and  if you believe  local folklore  this inspired the term ‘batty’, meaning  mad as a hatter.  I’m not sure whether it was a reflection of his  mentally ill patients or his own eccentricity, probably both.


We haven’t  ventured downstream very far yet, BECAUSE IT IS SUDDENLY FREEZING!  but no doubt I will find other overlooked gems. Oh my giddy aunt!

If you can think of any other  Thames treasures I may not have heard of , please leave a message below. Could always tell my publishers to hold the press!  Don’t forget to complete the little maths question before pressing Submit.








  1. I’ve heard it said that no book is ever finished.

    Maybe you’re now collecting material for the second edition. You just don’t realise it. 🙂

    • Pauline

      Ha ha, you may be right Peter! I could quite happily walk the entire Path again. And things are changing so rapidly in London these days, what with the futuristic new Shard building etc.

  2. This definitely has the feel of a new book. It sounds wonderful. Do you put your pictures up on pinterest?

    • Pauline

      Thanks Delinda, there may well be an All Along the River Volume II! I don’t really know how to use pinterest,
      or how useful it would be for me?

  3. I bet you didn’t imagine it would be THIS cold 😉

    See you tomorrow!!


    • Pauline

      No Vikki, I was lulled into a false sense of security by those sunny days when we first arrived. I feel I have been tricked!
      So looking forward to seeing you and Maddie. Des is very excited but afraid of getting lost in London.

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