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  • clivenmel

March 30th

Normal 0 false false false st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Well, today started bright and sunny, which is just as well as it was quite cool; we had just a touch of ground frost last night due to bright, clear skies. Fortunately, it didn�t last and after a leisurely breakfast, we were ready to set off again by late morning.   Just before we went, I noticed another Red Kite (last one, we promise) sitting on a post in the neighbouring field and obliged by sitting still long enough for me to get a photo.   Not half a mile away we came to the Cleeve Lock, all of 2� 3� deep and manned by a nice chap from the EA whom we had seen before a few miles upriver � he evidently does the rounds from Reading upwards�Picked up water again at the convenient water point and went on down the lock.   All the way down to Goring, there are some magnificent properties dotted along the bank to the East, mostly what looked like holiday �cottages� with boathouses and gardens etc..Actually we saw a property for sale � 1.25 acre island for sale! Comes complete with ducks, pedestrian access over a narrow channel off the river but with no planning consent yet � absolutely idyllic (�195k) which I have to say seems a bargain around here�   Anyway after not more than 40 mins or so, we arrived at Goring. Approaching the Goring Lock is very pretty, with nice houses and boats on both sides. The weir was running strongly but not dangerously away to the right (avoid at all costs) and Mel negotiated the electrically driven lock gates like an expert (no one on duty, or maybe at lunch?) and just beyond are some really nice public moorings. So here we are, we haven�t moved a great distance but it�s been very pleasant.   Decided to do a spot of shopping, so called in at the village grocery and then had a bite to eat in the local � The Miller of Mansfield; evidently King Henry VIII stayed here once (chaps � there is a nice photolithograph of him receiving lunch here, hanging on the wall in the gents!) Just outside is Goring Church and it looked so nice, we decided to have a look; it�s a Norman church so has a long history, and of unusual design with an attractive curved rear wall (Aps??)   Anyway, a look around the old gravestones revealed a name I thought I recognised - Sir Henry Harwood, KGB. Now was this was the same guy I was thinking of? Evidently it was � this is the chap who in 1939 was Commodore, South Atlantic and in charge of the RN ships that persuaded Capt. Lansdorff to scuttle the pocket battleship Graaf Spee in Montevideo Harbour, Uruguay.   Anyone who saw the 1956 film - Battle of the River Plate � his role was played by Anthony Quayle.   Fancy meeting him here? He was a Suffolk boy to start with and obviously lived at Goring at the end. He retired from ill health as Admiral in 1945 and died somewhat prematurely in 1950.   We�re heading off to Pangbourne tomorrow, which also sounds nice and was central inspiration for a famous author � more later�        

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