I have been panic digging up my lawn for the past week or so, so as to get some seed potatoes in. The reason I’m doing that is that I gave up my allotment last October as it was too much of a committment and got on the way of my boating and it was far too big at 10 rods on a hill to boot. Well, it’s partly done and the spuds are in, so it was time for a little relaxation on the water. I cruised through Thames Lock yesterday afternoon and moored at ‘The Anglers’, Walton-on-Thames for the night, having paid a visit to the local Wetherspoons and the ‘Old Manor Inn’.
This morning I set off at 11am to catch up ‘Midnight Shadow’, so that we might go through the locks together.
I have seen this boat frequently cruising this section of the Thames and met up with Nigel at Sunbury Lock, only to discover that he frequents this area because he has cancer and needs to be near the hospital. I also found out that another liveaboard owner on ‘Tally Ho’, is called Rick, who also cruises this section frequently. The Towpath Telegraph gets better by the minute!
I moored up at the Hampton Court Palace moorings, with a view to investigating a very old pub called ‘The Bell’ at East Molesey. More about that later. I sat for most of the afternoon in the sun, re-splicing my centre line. I was advised to wash it in the washing machine, because it was so stiff with dirt. Imagine my surprise when I removed it from the washing machine to discover that the eye splice was like a steel hawser – only that part; the rest of the line was OK. Only one thing to do and that was take it apart as I didn’t want to lose any length – it took an hour to do a 20min splice, it was so stiff!
I did get to "The Bell" eventually with the help of a Google map. The pub was quite impressive from the outside, originally built in 1460, with quaint sash windows and wobbly walls and I think it relied on it’s history for it’s reputation, for the interior left a lot to be desired in a good pub. There were Courage Ales and London Pride on tap, but no guest beer. The food menu was of the fold out encapsulated type that advertises a menu that has not changed for a very long time and shows no originality at all. Overall, the place was very tired and in need of some TLC. Very disappointing! If you are at all interested you can read more here:- http://www.beerintheevening.com/pubs/s/13/1340/Bell/East_Molesey
The following morning was overcast and very chilly, so after an hours cruising back towards The Wey, I had to stop and make coffee and light the fire. An uneventful return to my mooring arriving about midday.
I am looking forward to my first jaunt up the Basingstoke Canal with six other boats from the Byfleet boat Club on Easter Weekend, so will Blog about that later.