30 Jul 2014

Down by the river again





When we lived in Berkshire the Loddon and Thames Rivers were close by and sometimes it was pleasanter walking along by the river bank, through the meadows and playing fields from village to village and into town than using the main roads especially when I was a child. Sitting by the lock is relaxing and fascinating as the various boats wait to go in and out and navigate the waters there. The tea garden on the island between the river channels and the weir where the lock keeper lives is an added attraction before a walk back into the village.

                                          The River Thames from its source to London

                                      (images taken from the information board in Sonning).




Here are some more images of Sonning Lock and village.  Next time I'll be writing about another beautiful area on the west side of Reading in Berkshire - (Pangbourne, Goring and Streatley).


The lock keeper taking a short rest in between manning the lock gates.



Sonning village held the annual scarecrow trail event earlier in the year and this is one of the remaining models on the island.





We saw wild crab apples as we strolled back along the river bank to the village.



We went along the path from the river passed St. Andrew's Church.
The local primary school was having an end of term concert inside so 
it was only possible to take a quick look inside.




We sat and had a drink at The Bull Inn which is next to the church.  I always enjoy seeing the wisteria.




Nearby Reading town was well-known for the three Bs - brick making, bulbs and biscuits.  In fact, Sutton's Seed Company trial grounds (the flower bulb aspect) used to be near where we lived when I was a child. and The Huntley and Palmer biscuit factory was famous all over the world.  Both the Sutton and Palmer families have been benefactors of public facilities in the area so it's not surprising to see that one of the Palmer family gifted a water pump to the village.

    

36 comments:

  1. What a fabulous day out. There's nothing more relaxing that sitting by a river watching boats pass by. We had a fabulous holiday on a boat on the Norfolk Broads one year, I'm not really a water baby so didn't know if I'd enjoy it but I loved it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A boating holiday would be a lot of fun. I'm not a good sea sailor, but I like being on the river in a boat.

      Delete
  2. Oh Linda, These pictures a beautiful. Sonning certainly looks a lovely place to visit I expect you have lots of lovely memories from your childhood there.

    Mitzi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Memories of my childhood are always linked with walks by the river in that area.

      Delete
  3. What a pretty village, love the canal boats. Thanks for all the photos/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I especially like seeing the canal boats now being used mainly for holiday purposes.

      Delete
  4. It is a beautiful area as all your wonderful photos show. Thank you for this very interesting tour. How thoughtful of your grandson to ask you to go there. I also wish your other grandson a very happy time in Australia. He will have quite an adventure I'm sure. Thank you also for visiting my latest Normandy post. I was very interested in your memories from your trip and the food is still very good :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Denise. I'm sure grandson no 2 will have a wonderful time in Australia. It's a good opportunity to have the chance to work there.

      Delete
  5. It is lovely to see your pictures Linda, I really must get out and about more! I hope that your grandson has a great time in Australia! Love your new header pics as well. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Amy. You've been very busy in the home recently so I hope you'll be able to take a relaxing break out and about very soon.

      Delete
  6. Hi Linda, What an interesting post... I love seeing the little towns along the river... I had never seen those 'water taxis/barges' before. I thought they looked like train cars in water!!!! NEAT!!!

    Love the scarecrow, and that church is gorgeous... We used to have a big crab apple tree in our yard when I was young. My Mom made Crab Apple Jelly... SO SO good. Haven't had any in tons of years.

    Great post... Thanks!
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Betsy. What a good way to describe the canal boats/barges! I suppose, in a way, they were the early version of goods trains before the era of the train carrying products along the waterways. The crab apples might have been picked by someone if they hadn't been so near the water to make crab apple jelly. They did look a lovely golden colour.

      Delete
  7. Just totally wonderful! Your grandson will have a ball in Australia and the time will fly by. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Suzy. Grandson no 2 is staying with an older cousin who has lots of plans for his time in Australia, both work and leisure, so I'm sure it'll be a good experience.

      Delete
  8. What a wonderful post, summer at it's best and boats....sighs....this has me missing mine terribly! I love the pics, and how cute is that duck!xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand that you must miss your boat a lot, Dina. Yes, the duck was very friendly and made us smile as did the model of the old sailor in the tea garden.

      Delete
  9. Hi Linda,

    Loved seeing your post today and interesting to see the great photos from your parts. The Canal boats on the river look wonderful and on our train trip down to Dartmouth in 2007 we saw quite a few from out the train window. The wisteria is pretty and love the friendly duck. And yes, the Huntly and Palmer crackers are something we like here. Also how beautiful the lily pads are on your header - they grow huge don't they ( remember when I went to the winter gardens in Auckland.
    Wishing your grandson all the very best for his trip to Melbourne.
    Hope you are having a happy week
    hugs
    Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love watching boats, whether on the river or in a harbour - they capture the imagination about who owns them or is holidaying on them. (The water lilies in the header were seen in Kew Gardens, London).

      Delete
  10. The architecture you share is always so fascinating. The canal looks very busy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Susan. It can get busy in the holiday season as the boats wait to go through the locks on some stretches of the river, but then it's still a good way to enjoy being on the water.

      Delete
  11. What an idyllic English village and a lovely day out! Linda, once again, thanks for making it possible for the rest of us to enjoy your outings from our armchairs. -Beth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Beth. Glad you enjoy 'coming with me' on my outings. I hope you have a lovely weekend. I'm looking forward to more posts about progress in your garden.

      Delete
  12. Such fun on the canals. Glad you are enjoying England. We have a friend who owns a long boat and we have done a couple of trips with them. So relaxing but possibly not so much in the height of summer. Knew the owners of Huntley and Palmer well as they were friends of my Aunts. In fact spent our honeymoon in Devon when they retired there. Thak yhou for all your visits Linda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A boating holiday on the waterways must be an interesting experience. Something I've never done. Thank you for sharing your connection with Huntley and Palmers. The company provided employment for many in Reading town over the decades.

      Delete
  13. I always enjoy taking a walk with you. Gorgeous countryside and spending a day with a grandchild can't be beat! :>) I'm back from my trip to TX and getting ready for a short vacation to Asheville, North Carolina.
    My nephew spent 9 months in Australia through his college and absolutely loved it. The time to go is preferably when you are young and unencumbered. But it was worrisome for my parents just as was having my daughter move out to Dallas, TX on a whim by herself. In both instances, the experiences turned out great and in Sara's case, permanent. :>)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoy your vacation in N. Carolina, Beth. Being able to travel and work abroad can be an enriching experience. These days it's easier to keep in touch via the internet.
      Our daughter has already had news and photos from her son as he travels to Australia. He's in L.A. at the moment and he's in good hands.

      Delete
  14. It all looks completely bucolic and totally idyllic, Linda. Spending time on or near water is so healing I think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure your recent water-based break away was just that, Marianne.

      Delete
  15. Wonderful! I think you post the tea pictures just for me. Anyway I like to believe it. Tonight my husband and I were watching a travel show on TV and it was a canal river boat trip. We both have always wanted to do that and this one looks just so special. Thanks for the wonderful post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Marilyn. Actually when I take photos of tea rooms I do think of you now! We weren't able to go on the river trip that had been postponed from a previous visit to Berkshire because of other family events, but I'm sure we'll make time in the future when the weather is sunny.

      Delete
  16. A lovely part of the country an area I know a little, as youngest daughter was at college in Caversham. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a small world, Lindy! I know Caversham well and also have connections there.

      Delete
  17. A lovely area, which I know a little and would like to know better. There's something so special about being near water. I can imagine how emotional it must be to say goodbye to your grandson for so long, but it will be a wonderful experience for him and he'll have so much to tell you all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel especially connected to the River Thames although any place where there is running water is special. We've heard that our grandson has arrived in Melbourne and was happy to be there after a long journey.

      Delete
  18. What lovely photos of your homeland. Such a different world from mine and so interesting. I liked the photo of the building with the lavender(?) growing in front of it. Have you taken a trip on a river boat? I think that would be a fun way to see the country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jody. Thank you for your visit and kind comments. Yes, the flowering plants outside The Malt House, now a private home, are lavender bushes. We have been boating on the river many times. Our daughter's wedding reception was on a big river boat which was hired for the occasion.

      Delete