Tuesday 8 August 2023


Today's Navigation : River Wey

The forecast yesterday suggested that today might to be too wet but by the time we awoke even the most optimistic prediction could not ignore that very heavy rain was falling. Whilst it came to a temporary halt by the time we were ready to leave, everywhere, especially grass, was very wet indeed.

We had moored on a short stretch that is maintained as a mooring but the reeds were quite extensive just downstream. It felt as if they were protecting us from careless steerers!

Alongside our side doors there were some strongly growing nettles. When we closed up last night they were making a real effort to invade the cabin and we had to beat them back to avoid being stung!

It was just about dry as we set off, although unseasonably chilly. Shortly after, we passed this boat - we are not sure about the name and wondered what happened to Aunt No 1.

Worsfold Gates are intended for controlling flood waters and so open for free passage at the moment. Unlike those yesterday, both top and bottom gates seem to be in working order. the Trust's workshops and maintenance craft are based here.

Send Church can be seen across several fields - strangely it is over a mile from the present day village. However, the building on one form or another has survived here for well over 800 years and is still a key part of the village community.

Between Bowers and Stoke locks a sign warned us of works ahead. We could not really see what is being constructed, but it is substantial!

By now the rain was returning, intermittently at first and then very much heavier. At Stoke Lock we could see Perseverance IV, an old Wey barge that was built in 1935, initially for the Stevens family who ran the navigation at that time. It was designed to be towed. She was gifted to the Museum of London in 2011 and has been moored at Dapdune Wharf soince then, not doing very much. In that time her condition has not improved and now a restoration projecy is aiming to keep her alive for a good bit longer. She was towed up to Stoke Lock and lifted out so that work can be done. See here for more details.

By now the rain was constant and heavy as we made our way to Dapdune where we were grateful to be able to moor for the services and also to have our lunch.

Lunch over we took advice from the information point at the Wharf and cruised down to the moorings in the centre of the town. One boat was already tied up there but room for another!

By mid afternoon, the rain had dried up, even if everything else was still very wet. We went across Town Bridge to High Street where we visited various shops, including M and S and Mountain Warehouse. The bridge stands where there was once a ford that gives Guildford part of its name. There have been various structures here over the years and this plaque commemorates once replacement in 1902. In 1985 it needed extensive work and, as part of a road scheme, converted into a vehicle free pedestrian bridge.

Further rain held off whilst we made our way back to the boat.

6.7 Miles - 3 Locks

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