Henley Whalers - Annual Long Row - 2018

Version 9/12/18

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Sheffield Lock
Click any image to enlarge. . . . .. + RP's video. + RP's "Henley Standard" report.


Possible Future Events:-
"Long Sail"
Long Row
Raid" 2019.
Exploring other UK waterways
Exploring abroad

Previous Long Rows here.

Coming soon - A new video with extra pictures and action-shots

Date - October 20th & 21st (& Fri 19th)

Newbury, River Kennet to Reading, then Thames to Henley, UTRC.
29 miles + 24 Locks.
Mainly rural. Fairly local. Easy logistics.
Locks, Bridges, Table of Distances, etc.
Simple Rowing map (right).


FRIDAY 19th Oct
Morning - Slip Molly out at Aston.
Launch at Newbury

Initial Cast off - Slipway. Newbury - Location - [G-map]. 09:20. (Planned 09:30)
Marina Office, Arr - 09:33 for Crew boarding.
Dep with all crew - 09:45.

Saturday Lunch stop - Arr 13:44. (Planned 13:30)
"The Row Barge" [website], Station Road, Woolhampton, RG7 5SH. 51.394471, -1.178332. [G-map].
Saturday Lunch stop - Dep - 14:59. (Planned 14:30)

Tyle MIll Lock - 17:10. Car Shufflers away. (Planned 16:15)
Saturday Night mooring - Arr 17:25 (estimated). (Planned 16:30)
Downstream of "Tyle Mill Lock" [51.418719, -1.100205], at the East end of the residential moorings - [G-map].
Car Shufflers to Newbury and back. - Arr 18:02. (Planned 17:10)
"The Spring Inn". [Website] - Arr - 18:10 (Planned 17:15)
"The Spring Inn" - Dep - 19:05.

12 miles. 13 locks! - GPS track on ViewRanger - ViewRanger instructions.

SUNDAY 21st Oct
Cast off - Tyle Mill - Location - [G-map]. 09:30. (Planned 09:30)

Sunday Lunch stop - Arr 13:15. (Planned 13:35)
"The Fishermans Cottage". RG1 3HJ. [website].
Mooring on right, just before lock [G-map]
. > > Pictures on right>>
Sunday Lunch stop - Dep - 14:55. (Planned 14:40)

Marsh Lock - 17:40. Car Shufflers away. (Planned 16:50)
Sunday Night mooring - UTRC - Arr 18:15 (estimated). (Planned 17:20).
Car Shufflers to Sulhamstead and back. - Arr 18:50. (Planned 18:20)
"The Bull Inn" - Arr - 18:50. (Planned 17:50)

18 miles, 11 locks. - GPS track on ViewRanger - ViewRanger instructions .
Locks, Bridges, Table of Distances, etc.
Simple Rowing map above right.

K&A Map
Map - Newbury to Henley

Above Sheffield Lock
Above Sheffield Lock

K&A Map1
Map Newbury./.Aldermaston

K&A map2
Map Aldermaston./.Reading.

Row Barge pub
"Row Barge" & Swingbridge

Tyle Mill Lock
Tyle Mill Lock

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Turf-sided lock - Full
Turf-sided lock - Full
Turf-sided lock - Empty
Turf-sided lock - Empty
Lock Still waters Willows
Rowers Rowers Molly at The RowBarge, Woolhampton
Molly moored for lunch
at The RowBarge, Woolhampton
Tyle Mill Swing Bridge
Tyle Mill Swing Bridge
Tyle Mill Mooring
Night stop
Tyle Mill
"The Spring"
Rehydration at "The Spring"
Horses Tyle Mill
Sunday morning - at the mooring
Rowers County Lock
County Lock, Reading
Reading Oracle
Reading Oracle
Oracle, Reading
Click above for Video. Click here for picture
The Oracle, Reading.
Coming soon - A new video with extra pictures and action-shots

Here's RP's "Henley Standard" report. - 3rd December 2018

They have rowed down the Grand Canal in Venice and past the Tower of London and Houses of Parliament and sailed in the splendour of Sweden and Brittany, but the Henley Whalers’ latest adventure included a slightly less exotic trip... through a Reading shopping cente.

Every autumn the Whalers do a two-day long row and this year decided on the Kennet Navigation, a waterway they’d never done before despite being close to home.

On a glorious autumn weekend, Molly the whaleboat, a regular sight on the River Thames in Henley, was put on her trailer and launched at Newbury.

The plan was to row to Tyle Mill, west of Reading, on the first day, then from there back to Henley on day two.

The Kennet, which forms the eastern section of the Kennet and Avon Canal and opened in 1723, is quite different to the Thames. Paul Waterman, the Whaler who did a lot of the planning for the trip, said: “The locks are all hand-wound, so we took two windlasses [the device with which the locks are operated].

“There are also extremely low bridges, some electrically operated for which you need a key, and some which have to be swung out of the way by hand.

“We had more than the usual 11 people aboard so that we could send a party of three walking ahead to prepare the way.”

The Kennet runs east along the A4 and the railway line from Reading to Bath, past some highly industrial areas, but once on the water you would hardly know it.

It’s a peaceful, tree-lined world of birds and fields, with some extraordinary sights. Among these are two of the very few remaining turf-sided locks on Britain’s canals.

These have no walls, just sloping turf banks with metal structures to tie up to.

You also pass several Second World War pillboxes, built to defend Britain in the event of a German invasion. One of the turf locks is called Monkey Marsh, though no one seems to know why.

It’s doubtful if the wildlife in Thatcham included monkeys but Thatcham reed beds, through which the Kennet passes, are famous for all sorts of creatures including the rare Desmoulin’s whorl snail (the Whalers didn’t spot any of those, which is not surprising as they are only 3mm). Further along the canal you can see or hear birds such as reed warblers, kingfishers and even nightingales.

This peaceful world alternates with occasional glimpses of the M4 and large urban developments. One of the most extraordinary spots is Fobney Lock, hardly a stone’s throw from Reading’s Southcote estates but where you could almost be back in the 18th century when the waterway opened.

After County Bridge in Reading you have to wait at traffic lights, not a normal waterway feature but needed to control boats going through Brewery Gut. This may sound like a condition developed by serious beer drinkers but it’s actually the name of the Kennet section which runs through the Oracle shopping centre and a reminder of the long-gone Courage brewery nearby.

Molly’s owner Geoff Probert said: ‘It was extraordinary to row through a place like the Oracle and in its own way almost as exciting as some of the other places we’ve been, such as Venice.

The Duke Street bridge may not be the Rialto but it was built in the 18th century and is the oldest bridge over the Kennet. Only from the water can you see how classically beautiful it is.”

After lunch at the delightful Fisherman’s Cottage, off Orts Road, it was back through Blake’s Lock and on to the more familiar waters of the Thames, through Sonning and Shiplake to Henley. Molly is now back on her mooring and ready for new adventures.

(Thanks to our lucid reporter RP)

"The Henley Standard" website.....Some other references to Henley Whalers in The Henley Standard

Lunch Stop Mooring
Mooring for Lunch stop

Fishermans Cottage
"The Fishermans Cottage"

View from Fishermans Cottage
View from pub

Blakes Lock
Blakes Lock

Blakes Lock
Blakes Lock

Blakes Lock
Blakes Lock

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Crew numbers

14 or even 15.
On the Kennet, the locks and swing bridges are very frequent. - Average interval 0.6 mile. See Table of Distances, right.
Able-legged crew take turns to walk ahead, maybe once or twice per day, and set locks or bridges, to synchronise with Molly’s arrival.

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