Saturday, May 30, 2009

A short cruise to Runnymede

A good time was had by all yesterday evening. A good chat with Dave and Barbara on Liberty Bell, over a bottle of wine, catching up on events of the last couple of years.
The only annoyance was the evening strollers, peering in the windows. And, as it was such a nice evening, there were a lot of those.

We weren’t disturbed overnight, though, and woke up to a clear blue morning.

Moved off at just before 09:00, wanting to make sure we got a mooring spot near Runnymede.

Leaving Windsor.
We’ll meet up with Dave and Barbara on Tuesday morning. They’ve also arranged to go from Teddington to Brentford on that morning’s tide. We first met them at Cromwell Lock on the Trent, waiting to chase the tide down that river.

We had a gentle, uneventful cruise this morning. Fairly quiet, we had Romney and Old Windsor Locks to ourselves.

Approaching Romney Lock
Radial weir gates at Old Windsor
In Old Windsor Lock

The river describes a long loop from a northerly direction to head south. Enclosed in the loop is Windsor Home Park, Crown land and not open to the public.

Clear message, Windsor Castle in the background.
Ooh errr!

Alongside the park are Victoria and Albert Bridges, with the respective coats of arms mounted on the pillars.

And Albert
We moored on the bank almost opposite Magna Carta Island. This is where, in 1215, King John was forced to sign the document that became the basis for English Law.

It’s also the reason I wanted to stop here. I wanted to have a look at the 3 memorials in the area. The Magna Carta, The Commonwealth Air Forces up on Cooper Hill, and John F Kennedy’s.

Meg and I had a pleasant 2½ mile stroll, across fields and through woodland, visiting all 3. Unfortunately pooches aren’t allowed in to the Air Forces Memorial (except guide dogs, and Meg would never qualify on that score. Anyway, my camera would have been a bit of a give away…), so I had to be happy with a photo from the gate.

The Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial

This is a memorial to the over 20,000 airmen who where lost and whose remains were never recovered during WWII.

We were luckier at the other 2 sites, no canine restrictions here.

The Magna Carta Memorial
The John F Kennedy Memorial.

The acre of land on which this sits is officially US territory, formerly Crown land and granted by the Queen following his assassination.

The whole area is administered by The National Trust.

By the time I got back to the boat, the river was busy with boats of all shapes and sizes, the car park was full and the waterside was being enjoyed by lots of picnicers.

One family group had a disappointing day though. They’d hired a day boat, and had the bad luck of having an engine breakdown, just opposite us. A passing boat pulled them over to the bank, and a boat was sent out from the base to tow the disabled one back home.

Under tow back to base

It’s been another great day, hot in the sun, cloudless blue skies, perfect weather to be out and about.

Locks 2, miles 5½


PAV said...

Hello Geoff & Mags, Thanks for your message the other day and sorry for delay in my reply. Glad to see that you have got your alternator problem sorted out. Looks an interesting trip you are having. Take care. Regards, John & Cathy - NB Marmaduke.

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi both
Yes, enjoying this trip down the "Royal River". Could do with spending a bit longer next time. Lots to see and do.
The alternator was a bit of a bummer, but nothing compared to your recent problems!
Keep well