Monday, 18 September 2017

Ner, ner, na ner, ner!

It was 7:30 Thursday 14th Sept when we winded from our mooring at Wallingford
... and left the town heading downstream once again
... and the sun was just starting to appear

Lights were on in Brookes University Boat Club and we hoped we wouldn't be inundated with rowers for todays journey

As we approached Moulsford Railway Bridge this hire boat was close behind us as was the rower.  We kept well over to the right to allow the rower sufficient room to pass as she should on our outside but the guy in the cruiser squeezed past on the inside probably hoping to beat us either to the water point or the lock at Cleeve which of course he did.
You can see here the wakes, cruiser on the left, us in the middle and rower to the right.

I think that's Streatley over there, so not far to go now

There's the hire boat waiting for the lock ...

which is on self service

... but there is no power to the hydraulics to open and close the sluices and lock gates 

... so they were hand winding!  
Lots of turns to open one sluice and another load to open the other sluice, then the same again for each gate and that's just to open the top ones!  Once they were in the lock they had to do it all over again to close everything up and then twice more to open and close the bottom gates!   So he didn't get very far ahead did he!

It didn't bother us as we needed water first and just before we'd finished two more narrowboats arrived ... and so it was their turn to turn the wheels. 
While these boats went down the lock I could see the lock keeper from Goring arriving in his car, he'd obviously heard that there were problems here at Cleeve.
... and just look at George's face, I think he's pleased to see him.
A mole has been busy here as we wait for the lockie to reset the electrics to the lock and then he'll see us down and get back to Goring before we arrive there.

I'd got my camera ready to take a photo of the lovely Virgina Creeper but who should come into sight ... yes that's Sue and Andy on Festina Lente.  One of these days we'll be able to do more than to wave as they cruise by us.
That lovely creeper with the sun behind it
No apologies for yet another photo of Goring Lock which from upstream looks wonderful
When we came out of Goring Lock we had to squeeze ourselves between two large barges as there was no other spaces but less than an hour later this was the view behind us.

We're staying here for one night ... we've having a weekend away ... a very special weekend so watch this space.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Well, you'd never believe it!

This morning (12th Sept) we took bus 139 from Wallingford to Nuffield Place where after a tour of the house we visited the National Trust gift shop where we met this lady.  

As we walked in she asked if we lived on a boat, were we Carol and George? Well we were gobsmacked I can tell you!  She has followed our blog for many years and spoke of nb Rock 'n' Roll as well as our travels on Still Rockin'.  It was lovely to meet you Sheila and hope that you continue to enjoy following our watery wanderings.

Now, make your self a cuppa, put your feet up and come on tour with me ...
Wonderful far reaching views as we walk along the lane

... to Nuffield Place's gateway
First port of call of course was the reception area to show our National Trust membership cards and to hear what was happening today ... a guided tour of the four main rooms in the house at 11, a guided tour of the garden at 12 and a free-flow tour of the house from 1pm.
Click on any of the photos to enlarge

We'd arrived at about 10:30 so for half an hour wondered around the vegetable garden and peeked inside the potting shed

I loved the dahlias around the veg plots by the greenhouse

The Reception area where we purchased some potatoes dug this morning and green beans picked today too

We walked through the butterfly garden

... and the wildflower meadow which has not been cultivated for over 400 years and would look amazing during the summer
... and to the garage

... where we found this potted history of William Morris, 1st Viscount Nuffield and founder of Morris Motors Limited, the Nuffield Foundation, Nuffield Trust and Nuffield College, Oxford  ...

Waiting for the house tour to begin ...
The house has been left as near as possible to how Lord and Lady Nuffield would have left it.  After Lord Nuffield died he willed the house to Nuffield College and they used it for 40 years until it was put into the hands of the National Trust in 2011

The Billiard Room ...

... with its cosy seating area and a photo on the wall of Morris' first venture into business with a capital of £4, repairing and later building bicycles initially in his parents front room!
He had been apprenticed to an Oxford bicycle shop at the age of 14 and left after being refused a pay rise after 2 years.

A request from the Private Secretary to Edward, Prince of Wales to play golf at Huntercombe Golf Course in July 1929
The Dining Room
 With beautiful Bohemian Blue Glassware
 ... its exquisite tapestry chair covers
 and displays of fine china and a collection of Clarise Cliff pottery
Fireplace tiles throughout the house were also lovely as were the many tapestry fire screens in the hearths.

The Entertaining Room
 ... with a fireplace at each end

As a 'Stokie' born in the Potteries, this commemorative mug caught my eye because when I left school in 1964 my first job was with a company called British American Glass Co. Ltd. (later Allied English Potteries) who were the buying office for a UK wide glass and china retail business called Lawley's Glass and China Limited which owned Paragon China amongst many other pottery companies.  I was secretary to the buyer.
The Sitting Room

This was the room that Lord and Lady Nuffield used most often and where Lord Nuffield had his desk. Many of their favourite knick-nacks and pictures were displayed here and Lady Nuffield would have enjoyed the company of her scottie dogs.
The Landing 
As you may have gathered Lady Nuffield loved her tapestries and on the landing are some fine examples of Berlin Tapesties, I loved the story in this one of the Roundheads sacking a Royalist's home.

The Bedrooms

Lord Nuffield's bedroom made us smile - a lot! He was a very frugal man and concocted his own bedside light, carpeted the floor with stitched together car mats 

... and in his wardrobe were all his treasures and tools including between the Parker Quink and wooden mallet is his pickled appendix!
As part of the extension to Nuffield Place, Lord Nuffield created a sunroom where there had once been a balcony which also gave access to ...

 ... Lady Nuffield's bedroom

 ... and where she would sit writing her correspondence and her diary 
... overlooking the garden.
Personally I thought that the double guest room was the best in the house.  I think there was a total of five bedrooms each with a dressing room

... and three bathrooms each a similar design but different colours - very 1960's!
 Another beautiful tapestry - Jane Gresty's work aged 12 years in 1851.

And so back into the garden which was laid out by the architect Oswald Partridge Milne who was once an assistant to Lutyens.  When the house was taken into NT hands the garden was very overgrown and so will be for some time to come 'a work in progress'.

We had a great six hours here and hope you've enjoyed it too.