The Tenth Stage of the River Thames Walk

According to the distance marker at the top of Marlow’s high street there are only 32 miles to go. I have always thought that the distance markers denoted the distance between the main cathedrals and churches, for pilgrims.Therefore, the distance from Marlow’s church to St Paul’s Cathedral in London, is 32 miles. However, recently a learner told me that they had found a plaque near the Eleanor Cross at Charing Cross, which says it is the reference point from which distances from London to other towns and cities (since the 12thcentury) are measured. Either way, both are found in the middle of London and not at the mouth of the river and they also measure the distance by road and not along the winding river. I have calculated that we have 45.5 miles to go.

We (I really mean they as I am still not walking with them) had an uneventful walk all the way down to Boulters Lock. As we sat eating ice cream, no need for hot chocolate now, the Salters boat pulled in to the lock, which reminded everyone that the next stretch of the river will be by boat.

We also noticed a rather nice notice board as we watched the boats go up and down in the lock. A black and white photograph of the boat races from the very fashionable Ascot week in the Edwardian times.

Those who had already done the British Water Ways project before walking the River Thames found a reference to the book they had read as part of the project. “Three Men in a Boat” by Jerome K Jerome published in 1889, which is still as funny and fresh as when it was originally written. Boulters Lock gets a good mention in the adventures of the hapless three and the readers were please to put the escapade to a place and visualise the story events.

Then they were off for the final section towards Windsor we had arrange to meet them at the WW2 plane by the carpark. It seemed to us that it took us longer to find a parking spot in the popular car park than it took them to walk there.

The last photograph in this section is from the point of view of the support vehicle. Because all of us, in the car, live down river to Windsor, none of us have seen Windsor Castle from this angle before. We were quite impressed!

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