Sonning Common Village Gardeners Go in Search of The Flowerpot (and Enjoy Messing About on The River)
A group of four complete rowing novices from Sonning Common Village Gardeners went aboard the whale-boat ‘Molly’ for a row down the Thames.
This was the result of a suggestion by one of their members, Paul W who accompanied and led the trip from Upper Thames Rowing Club to Aston, for lunch and back.
It was a beautiful Autumn day, and despite being told that no experience or special equipment was necessary, there was an anxious air at the beginning that soon dissipated after some excellent, clear instruction from Paul.
Aided by four Henley Whalers (including our helmsman) we were soon underway, rowing as a team and concentrating on establishing a very relaxed rhythm.
It proved to be a most enjoyable day; a perfect way to “introduce an ageing beginner to the joys of rowing”. “Seeing wildlife at such close quarters” was very special.
It was something that all felt should be repeated!
Molly is a delightful craft. She is a lightweight 10-oared whale-boat and “feels very stable and safe”. She is ideal for non-rowers and beginners, and no particular fitness is necessary to try her out.
|The journey downstream to Aston was easy because of a following wind. It was great fun negotiating the lock too.
At The Flowerpot in Aston, the Gardeners’ forks were soon busy as they dug in to their delicious lunches.
The extra energy was useful for the return trip upriver against the increasing wind.
As we rowed back we felt we were relaxed and rowing together in harmony as a group of hardy gardeners.
“Once back on dry land we all felt exhilarated to have been a part of Molly's world for the day”.
The distance was 2.3 miles each way.
Click any image to enlarge
"A very big thank you for a great day out yesterday. It was lovely! You got us all rowing together with great skill and encouragement and it was so relaxed and easy. We all had enormous fun. Many many thanks" JG.
"We had a really lovely time and feel very proud of our achievement under your excellent guidance!
"I can now understand the draw of being on the water especially those moments when you feel in the 'zone'." SH.
"Thank you for giving us the opportunity for the great experience of rowing in the 'Whaler'.
Sonning Common "Village Gardeners"
A friendly group of volunteers who meet twice a month, year-round to sustain the attractive appearance of communal areas around their village.
They are supported by Sonning Common Parish Council, and are also grateful for donations and sponsorship for the provision of resources.
New members always welcome. No gardening knowledge or skills are required but will be a bonus if you have them.
The Henley Whalers