Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Wehey! We got in, on Lady Lindsay's Lawn!

Just as a downpour of a shower started. We managed to squeeze ourselves in between mister "I'm going to run my generator soon", and mister "I haven't moved my boat in a year". Even though we have only ever been able to get in here once before, the place holds happy memories for us. Aside from sounding like a Marc Bolan song, and being a beautifully quiet place for an overnight, it was where Sumo found a cricket ball and stuffed himself with blackberries. 

Initially, we'd tried the Shepperton 24 hour moorings, but they turned out to be full of people who'd moored themselves 20ft apart. "No way", we thought, as we bimbled through the bendy channel to LLL. Especially as the Spelthorn council have designated 2/3 of it as "No Mooring" now. But today was our lucky day.

On the way down, from Laleham to Shepperton, we were slightly gobsmacked to see that virtually every single overstayer has vanished. Boats that we'd been seeing for years, that had become a part of the landscape, had just *gone*. Huge swathes of wall and mooring are now available to visitors.  I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it was very noticeable. All of the legitimate private mooring spots on the Eyot near Shepperton have vanished too. It's like somebody has gone through the area with a big broom.

Chertsey has two new "Short Stay" moorings too, presumably close to the shops. Those will probably be useful on our way back up. Perfect narrowboat height. So no hoisting of dogs up walls necessary.
MTB102 in Bell Weir Lock
It's been a pleasant and stress free journey downstream, so far. The Runnymede pleasure garden mooring turned out to be 'not so great', when at 8:30pm they switched the flight path, and the jets were flying directly overhead. And so close, that you can wave at the pilot. Again, I feel great sympathy for the people who have to put up with this racket every single day. They say "You soon block it out", but it is a ridiculous level of noise to have to endure on a daily basis.

Up close and personal
Shared Bell Weir lock with this, *and* a Dunkirk 'Little Ship'. It turns out that Sue was right, and MTB 102 was built for Vospers in Portsmouth. Chatting to the lady on the bow, whilst we were in the lock... I discovered: That MTB102 was the prototype, not only of the vessel class, but also for where to mount the guns and the torpedo tubes. She'd also coordinated the evacuation of Dunkirk. And Eisenhower and Churchill had been on board when preparing for the D-Day landings. The present crew are keeping the vessel floating and fully functional via public donations, because official donations apparently come with too many strings attached (unhistorical health and safety changes). They are enroute to a festival in Harwich when they get off the Thames.

Laleham Mooring
Enjoyed a quiet night here. Surprisingly empty, with not many of the berths taken up. Chatted (quite a bit) with Clive and Lynne on MV 'Two n Six'. A lovely couple who also cruise up and down the Thames.

Marlow 'Cheap Seats' Mooring
If you can get onto this mooring, it's free. The council don't own it, and can't sting you for twelve pounds. As you can guess, it is rarely vacant. This time through we were only here for the shopping, but I did notice the new signs in the park, saying it's only overnighters that will get charged. Like Henley, if you are there for a shop or a quick visit, they sensibly realise that you will be helping the local economy and won't rob you.

MV 'Festina Lente'

Narrowboat 'Black Dog'
Last saw this at Godalming, on the end of the river Wey. Looks likes she's been newly blacked and had coachlines added. It would be nice to meet the owner some time, but there was nobody at home today.


  1. Ken said, 'It turns out that Sue was right...'
    Kevin said, 'Isn't she always?' :) ;) LOL

  2. Spelthorne Council seem to be doing a good job of moving on the Pee takers. We saw three boats with 'move it' or £500 pound fine notices on. One outside Thames Court and two at Dockett Eddy Lane.

    Cheers and Beers


    1. it felt like some of the character had been stripped out. though, if they were stuck like limpets and didn't shuffle their boats around a bit I can understand the councils need for some sort of action. the disappearance of the liveaboard community below Shepperton lock was the biggest surprise. It was always nice to go past there, and see people out buffing their boats, painting something, or just sitting out enjoying the river.

  3. Hey -

    You look like a fun boat! I hope I catch up with Olly, Bryn and Sumo one day.....

    1. Hi Oakley, you sound like an amazing chap. And we are full of admiration for the good work that you do. Hopefully one day our paths will cross..

      Unfortunately, Sumo is no longer with us. though his ashes, spirit and memory travel with us everywhere.