Posts Tagged ‘River Wey’

River Wey

August 12, 2016
narrow boat moored on River Wey

narrow boat moored on River Wey

A very hot sunny day.

As no shopping, walked along the river to St Catherine’s Lock.

At St Catherine’s Lock, two idiots swimming in the river. OK to swim in the river, but not by a lock adjacent to a weir, where the current could sweep you into the weir.

Lock keeper told me the River Wey is listed on a website Wild Swimming and as a result the River Wey is becoming a magnet for idiots.

Lunch at Debenhams

April 15, 2016
River Wey from Debenhams

River Wey from Debenhams

roast pork and all the trimmings

roast pork and all the trimmings

I walked from Guildford Station along the River Wey to Debenhams.

Last week Debenhams was busy, no food left. This week empty, plenty of food left.

As it was raining and as there was roast pork, I decided to stay.

The chef told me they had cooked extra pork. I asked were the vegetables hot. He said yes.

Roast pork excellent, vegetables would have  been excellent too, if not cold.

Generous portion size.

Tables dirty, piled up with dirty dishes. Place all but deserted, and yet they cannot be bothered to clear and clean the tables

Heavy rain. I stayed and had raspberry cheesecake and a pot of tea.

Pleasant view overlooking the River Wey.

All but empty, and yet three people having the entire restaurant to choose from, sit almost on top of me. Then have  a noisy conversation.

Cue to leave.

River Wey: Milmead Lock to St Catherine’s Lock

June 19, 2015
Milmead view of River Wey whilst eating lunch

Milmead view of River Wey whilst eating lunch

It was a lovely day, I have not walked along the River Wey for at least a year, and so I decided as I was at Debenham’s having lunch overlooking the river, I would spend the afternoon walking along the River Wey to St Catherine’s Lock.

I could have gone to the market first, but not wishing to carry anything, I decided to walk along the river then catch the market on my return.

Old Water Mill

Old Water Mill

I passed by the Water Mills, now housing a water turbine. I noticed generating 20kW.

There has been a water mill on this spot since before the Normans arrived

Guildford Boat House

Guildford Boat House

I was surprised to see the Guildford Boat House lying derelict and up for sale. This has always been popular for hiring rowing boats. It belongs or did to Hoseasons, and no doubt not profitable and they sell. It is for sale as a site for commercial development, though it is in a floodplain and within a conservation site. Any attempt to redevelop must be strongly opposed.

Passing by the foot bridge that passes over the river route of the Pilgrim’s Way idiots with moronic music blasting out.

There used to be a ferry here before the footbridge was built. The ferry was before my time, but I remember the landing stage.

A little stream emerges here. Wonderful drinking water.

Not far from St Catherine’s Lock, I met an artist, at least when we chatted I learnt he was an artist from Godalming. He had copies of old pictures of the River Wey. I asked where these were from. He said they were postcards. He collects old postcards of the locality. But more than collects, he researches their history. He told me of one sent in 1915, a Canadian soldier stationed outside Godalming, that he had sent home to Canada. Because he had his name and army number, he was able to find out more. Sadly the soldier was killed a month later at Ypres.

What my new found artist friend was doing was trying to locate on the river the views of the postcards. We managed to locate, though he knew already. He will then paint the scenes. What he then hopes to do is mount an exhibition, where each painting will have alongside the history of the postcard.

I suggested talk to Amy at Guildford Institute. He said he had thought of Godalming Museum. As we parted company, I thought of Cafe Mila in Godalming.

The paintings will be watercolours or washed pen and ink. He said they will be mounted and framed. I pleaded, please do not cover with glass. He said that is usual. I said yes, and why, as cannot see due to refection. He then told me traditionally watercolours were not exhibited. They were in a book. Yes, Victorian ladies with their portfolio, a book of watercolours.

He was planning on meeting a friend and eating in Guildford. I said not The keystone. He said he was aware, and we both agreed how tragic a once excellent pub had gone downhill.

Whilst we were talking, a dog slammed into me. I have never known a dog, not looking  where it is going and run into someone.

It was then a short walk to St Catherine’s Lock. Now almost five o’clock. Forget market and other things I came to Guildford for.

I sat on the lock gate watching fools piloting narrow boats. One fool rammed into a post before the lock. They then left without shutting the bottom gate. The reason for shutting the bottom gate, the top gate leaks. do not waste water, it fills the lock.

I would then have walked back but headed along a track into Shalford Water Meadows. I was shocked, It used to be open grass, possible to walk down to a branch of the River Wey. I have done so in the past, sat on the bank, reading a  book. Now due to lack of grazing impenetrable  thicket.

I walked along the track, assuming it led into Shalford. It did not, it wound back to the river and ended in a dead end at the back of the lock keepers house, or maybe more correct, the weir keepers house. I was back to the river. I walked along, over the weir, then found I was walking alongside a branch of the river downstream. Only for a short way, it then diverged, I was walking through the water meadows on boards,then it went up a hillside to Shalford.

I went back down, this time walked back along the river to the lock.

It was then back to Guildford.

By now, it was early early evening.

I made a train at 1900 from Guildford Station ten seconds before the train left.

Afternoon in Guildford

June 19, 2015
Milmead

Milmead

A very pleasant sunny afternoon.

Where for lunch?

Guildford Institute is now out as the lady who prepared the excellent vegetarian meals has left. The Royal Oak, I fancy their kebabs but has the chef left, I have tried twice and no luck. The Keystone is out, the chef has left and the food gone rapidly downhill, as has the pub. Roast dinner at Debenham’s?

Debenham’s can, when they try, do an excellent roast dinner, but it is very variable. Last few times I have looked it has been turkey. Today was roast pork. The pork was excellent (and usually is), although the crackling was not crisp, the vegetables were stone cold. The wifi was not working, or rather it was but not connecting to anything. Cheesecake was excellent.

It was then a long walk along the River Wey to St Catherine’s Lock.

It was go to the market, then go for a walk, or walk then market.

I went for a walk, never made it to the market, nor the other things I meant to do.

I made the train with ten seconds to spare.

Afternoon in Guildford

June 5, 2015
Yellow Iris or Yellow Flag

Yellow Iris or Yellow Flag

Yellow Iris or Yellow Flag

Yellow Iris or Yellow Flag

Yesterday, in the afternoon, the temperature rapidly rose.

This morning rain, though not the heavy downpour and thunderstorm that was forecast.

The rain meant very humid in Guildford, and hot as the temperature rose as the sun came out.

Yellow Iris in flower on the banks of the River Wey.

The best way into Guildford, is along the river, then up the High Street.

The lady who did the excellent Friday  lunches at the Guildford Institute has now left. Yes, it is still possible to have lunch at the Guildford Institute, but I do not recommend.

I was going to have a coffee at Harris + Hoole, but decided too hot to wander the streets, but then, would I make the train, possibly not, so Harris + Hoole it was.

A freddo cappuccino would have been nice. What of a frappé . No. It was suggested an ice coffee. I settled on iced tea.

From Guildford, one of the clapped-out, Third World cattle trucks refurbished. Now clean seats, but fewer seats. More like a high density urban train, or a Tube train, the emphasis on standing and cramming in as many passengers as possible. Still no toilets. Completely unsuitable for the Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line. They should put these refurbished trains elsewhere and bring back the trains that were on this route.

Restoration of the Town Bridge

April 18, 2014
Town Bridge

Town Bridge

The River Wey used to have a ford, Golden Ford, from which the town derived its name, Guildford.

Navigation of The Wey, was incompatible with a ford. A stone bridge crossed the River Wey.

The stone bridge was swept away in a flood in 1900. The present Town Bridge, spanning the River Wey at the bottom of the High Street, was constructed in 1902.

Several months of work, the time scale much extended due to the winter floods, the Town Bridge has been renovated.

It is good to see a town valuing and looking after its heritage. Contrast with Farnborough where the 1720s Tumbledown Dick is being demolished for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s or Aldershot where the renovated early Victorian Queen Hotel is the exception not the norm.

Afternoon in Farnham

February 8, 2014
Farnham River Wey Gostrey Meadow

Farnham River Wey Gostrey Meadow

Farnham Bishop's Meadow flooded

Farnham Bishop’s Meadow flooded

Friday night, heavy torrential rain, strong winds, as it has been most nights this last week. This morning sunny, then heavy rain mid-morning, sunny, then heavy rain lunchtime, then sun came out. But very strong wind blowing, as I learnt when I ventured outside, with storm clouds threatening more rain.

Friday, the River Wey had overflowed its banks at Guildford, temporary flood barriers in place, with a strong risk of the town centre flooding, as it did over Christmas.

What then of the River Wey in Farnham? Last Saturday, very high after torrential rain Friday night.

No surprise, the River Wey was very high flowing through Gostrey Meadow, higher than last week.

Bishop’s Meadow was flooded.

The Oxfam Bookshop had Revolver, an album from The Beatles, in very poor condition, around £100. A single well over £100. You got to be joking! My albums must be worth a fortune, mint condition, and only played on very expensive record decks. And they had a signed book by Jeffrey Archer, £100. You got to be joking!

dolls house

dolls house

In the Phyllis Tuckwell charity shop, a wonderful dolls house. They alwasy have good stock, and the shop is always very busy.

Excellent late lunch in The Barn. I was the only one there. Apparently quiet all afternoon. By early evening, it became quite busy.

An interesting conversation with a singer-songwriter called Heather, who kindly gave me her previous album, Kutara, her latest, Elakoyah, of which she had only one copy, she will also give to me at a later date. She is playing in Café Mila, one evening, early March.

I tried Kobo Touch on the wifi. My idea, had been to download Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which I thought, last night, I had added to the Kobo Library. But not there, or I am doing, or have done, something wrong? I had to find it in the Kobo Store. Download was so fast, I thought nothing had happened. But, yes, the book had downloaded. I found the Kobo Touch not very responsive, but that may be me being inept with my fingers.

I have suggested, book storyteller Steph Bradley for June.

I take my leave of The Barn. Luckily bus on time, and my next bus, only a few minutes wait.

Saturday night, yet another storm hits.

Afternoon in Guildford

February 7, 2014
Guildford Wharf and boatman, River Wey within inches of overflowing, upstream and downstream had overflowed

Guildford Wharf and boatman, River Wey within inches of overflowing, upstream and downstream had overflowed

River Wey, Milmead road flooded

River Wey, Milmead road flooded

River Wey

River Wey

temporary flood barriers in place outside Debenhams to stop town centre flooding

temporary flood barriers in place outside Debenhams to stop town centre flooding

Days of heavy rain, last night, another storm hit, torrential rain. I am beginning to understand how Noah felt.

Today, a brief interlude between storms.

River Blackwater at North Camp Station, running high and very fast. I learn later, River Blackwater has burst its banks downstream.

North Camp to Ash, fields either flooded or waterlogged.

Guard on the train fails to walk through the train. As the train pulls into Guildford, I go off in search of the guard. He is unbelievably rude, refuses to sell me a ticket, tells me to buy at the station. Only problem is, risk harassment at barriers for not having a ticket, and have to then queue to buy a ticket.

River Wey very high, already overflowing banks. Outside Debenhams, temporary flood barriers in place.

WHSmith to exchange Kobo Touch. Now on third e-reader. But at least confirms what I had suspected, it had been taken out of the box, and tampered with, before I bought.

I had hoped to only be a few minutes at WHSmith. There over an hour.

Very late for lunch at Guildford Institute.

An exhibition of wildlife photographs, but almost impossible to see due to reflection off glass. When are people going to learn? Do not use glass! The photographs emphasises the need for rewilding of the countryside, reintroduction of lynx, beavers and wolves.

Rewilding, re-afforestation would go some way to mitigating the floods.

What we are seeing is window dressing. Time for honesty, the Somerset Levels have to be allowed to flood, the farmers have to change their farming practices, learn to work with nature, not against.

We also have to make our towns more porous. Every time a garden is paved, that increases the water run off.

The wildlife photographer, will be giving a talk next week, Wednesday afternoon.

Guildford Library. I plug in the Kobo Touch. It charges for 45 minutes, but not fully charged. I am unable to complete set up, as requires me to download and install Kobo Desktop, not possible in public library.

From Kobo Store, Alice in Wonderland.

An odd, kack-handed two stage download. Transfer to a Kobo Library, then download. I try to download, but fails.

I learn later, there is an advantage to this kack-handed method.

Back to WHSmith. Another hour, over an hour.

Using Kobo Desktop. Set up installs software on Kobo Reader, then downloads books from Kobo Library.

E-books on Kobo Store rip off prices:

  • Manuscript Found in Accra – Paulo Coelho —> £6-99
  • My Autobiography – Alex Ferguson —> £9-49
  • My Life – David Jason —> £11-99

Manuscript Found in Accra has been on offer in WHSmith at half price, and currently in Waterstone’s and WHSmith at Buy One, Get One Free, ie the paperback is less than an e-book!

The e-book on Amazon and iTunes at 99p.

What we must never forget, zero costs for e-books. Authors need to get a grip, retain the digital rights, release on leanpub, and do themselves and their readers a BIG favour.

Cappuccino and cookie in Harris + Hoole. Kobo Touch connects ok to wifi. I now find an advantage of kack-handed two stage download. Using to Kobo Touch to find books on Kobo Store, total waste of time. On the other hand, had I chosen a book, transferred to Kobo Libary, as I did earlier with Alice in Wonderland, I could then have simply downloaded from the Kobo Library using Harris + Hoole wifi to Kobo Touch.

I had intended to catch train at four o’clock, as next storm due to hit later in the day.

I catch 1900 train. It has already been raining.

At Aldershot, I see a bus leaving. Another bus in 20 minutes. Bus fails to show. Wait until 2000, a 40 minute wait for a bus.

Luckily I do make it before next storm hits. Late night, storm hits, more heavy rain.

Afternoon in Farnham

February 1, 2014
Farnham - River Wey

Farnham – River Wey

Bishop's Meadow flooded

Bishop’s Meadow flooded

I was not sure I would be in Farnham today. Heavy rain yesterday afternoon, heavy rain all evening, then last night into the early hours of the morning, torrential downpour. I did not expect to be in Farnham, as forecast was rain, and I excepted rain, therefore a big surprise to find clear blue sky and the sun shining.

By the time I arrived in Farnham, late afternoon, it had turned dull, with rain threatening.

I do wish they would learn in the Oxfam Bookshop in Farnham. It is bad enough when they stick sticky labels on the book covers. If you neglect to remove, damages the book. Now they are sticking sticky labels on the inside pages. If you do not know how to treat books with respect, then do not work in a bookshop.

From WHSmith, Kobo Touch e-reader £29.99 (it was £89.99). Annoying no information, no specification. I decided to take a risk. Kobo make better e-readers than Amazon Kindle, and unlike the Amazon Kindle, it is not a propriety format for the e-books.

I would also recommend Calibre, an e-reader for laptops.

I have never seen the River Wey in Godalming, as it was this afternoon flowing through Gostrey Meadow, it was high, had overflowed its banks, and was flowing very very fast. Heavy rain, the ground saturated, has simply flowed off the land and into the river.

I decided to take a walk to Bishop’s Meadow. I met a man out dog walking. He warned me it was impassible, and to take care. I said I was only going to take a look. We both agreed, it was crass stupidity the talk of dredging rivers to stop the Somerset Levels flooding, the should be allowed to flood, and more should be done to retain water in the hills.

Bishop’s Meadow was completely flooded. I assume the River Wey had overflowed, but it was difficult to tell.

Begs the question Guildford? The water I saw flowing through, even if they flooded the water meadows upstream of Guildford, it would not be sufficient to save Guildford from flooding.

I am pleased to see the East Street Development has been thrown out by the Secretary of State. Farnham is fortunate, it is a relatively unspoilt market town, which is why it is attractive and why people visit, rather than go to unpleasant neighbouring towns of Aldershot and Farnborough, which is why the East Street Development is so strongly opposed by local people.

When are corrupt bastards in local councils going to start listening to and acting on the wishes of local people, not acting for developers? When are the corrupt bastards at Waverley going to get the message, East Street Development is not wanted?

As there was a bus within a few minutes, I decided to catch and skip late lunch in The Barn. I stuck my head in to say hi, not stopping, and they said good move, as a busy afternoon and they had little left to eat. I recommended they book storyteller and scribe Steph Bradley as she is touring in the spring.

Synchronicity: A book in Oxfam Bookshop, Synchronicity.

Preview of Guildford Boat Festival

July 5, 2013
Guildford Boat Festival

Guildford Boat Festival

The Guildford Boat Festival is part of the Guildford Summer Festival. It takes place on Saturday, but as many of the boats arrive the day before, I thought I would take a walk along the River Wey and take a look.


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