Conveniently on Friday afternoon last, the 31st of August, our little flotilla arrived at Bourne End, enveloped in beautiful sunshine. The arrival was opportune since my daughter E-J lives at Loudwater, three miles away, and the following day she was holding a party hopefully in the garden if the fine weather prevailed. So we had decided before leaving the mooring at Cliveden that we would make Bourne End our next destination.
Red sky at night at ‘The Bounty’ Pub, Bourne End
The new mooring at Bourne End
However moorings at this little place are rather short. Nearly all of them are private and the only other option is the local Marina, who charge £23 per night for a spot, which we wanted to avoid if possible. We learned from the lock keeper at Cookham that there is a pub mooring at ‘The Bounty’ on the off side of the river for patrons only and a further small mooring beyond the village maintained by a local preservation trust.
So on Friday afternoon in beautiful sunshine I moored ‘Futurest’ outside ‘The Bounty’ pub. There was only enough room for one of our ships at the quay so ‘Roots and Wings’ came alongside us and breasted up safely. The whole manoeuvre had been tricky since the fresh breeze at that time was doing its best without respite to blow us off the quay. I was grateful to a man who quickly came to my assistance on the centreline and our combined pull finally persuaded ‘Futurest’ that we knew what was best for her.
The pub mooring was for twenty four hours only so early on Saturday Janis took her boat down to the other possible mooring at the southern end of town and as there was one free there she called me on the walky-talky and I followed her down to this much more useful mooring on the same side of the river as Loudwater and later Janis and I walked the three miles over the fields to my daughter’s house for the arranged garden party that afternoon.
It was a wonderful gathering of my in-laws and E-J’s husband Steve’s family. Though five members of the former who had previously said they would be there, failed to arrive the atmosphere wasn’t marred and it was good to see all three of my children together once more; something that doesn’t happen too often these days unfortunately.
My son Alex and grand daughter Penny at the party
Penny at fifteen months showing us how she walks
There was plenty of food and drink both alcoholic and non-alcoholic and it was a wonderful show on behalf of both E-J and Steve.
Steve gave us a lift back and the following day he brought his three girls, E-J and my grandson George to visit the ship. Afterwards they invited me back for dinner.
Then late on Sunday night E-J gave me a lift back to the ship and met Sharon for the first time.
All in all it had been a memorable stay at Bourne End.