MORE RIVER THAMES TALES!
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.
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.
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.