Wednesday 3 July 2013
Politicians,Bankers and Plebs
Leaving Henley for Marlow and Maidenhead makes you realise how the other half live in the UK. The houses lining the Thames can only be afforded by politicians, bankers ( note the spelling ),sports personalities and A-list celebs. Another World entirely. Cliveden was the scene of the John Profumo, Christine Keeler scandal in 1961 which toppled the Conservative government of the time. The magnificent house with amazing views over the Thames and surrounding countryside now belongs to the National Trust. Maidenhead Rowing club were heavily involved in Sir Steve Redgrave's early rowing career and over-nighted my sponsored rowing boat for Joel and I. The Thames almost encircles Windsor Castle (surely one of the largest moats in the world ?) so it seems to linger on the horizon for ever. In this region I became aware of air traffic from Heathrow airport, none of your toy A350's or B737's but real beefy planes like 747's and A800's....oh,joy. Which raises the question why would the Queen choose to build Windsor Castle under the Heathrow flight path? We cruised through Runnymede, where the Magna Carta was signed and subsequently the JFK memorial erected. In my early romantic days I used to park my aforementioned Austin A35 van next to the RAF memorial and watch planes arrive at and leave Heathrow with a girlfriend during the summer evenings. Who said romance is dead? We then cruised through Staines and the lock keeper at Penton Hook Lock taught Lynne how to throw ropes accurately. We moored at Laleham inside the M25 and met-up with Lynne's sister and brother-in-law. Traffic on the M25 was going slower than we were. No change there then.