River trip


A new book has arrived at my work station: The Thames, a photographic journey from source to sea, by Derek Pratt, published by Adlard Coles Nautical at £19.99. It contains some cracking snaps from the lovely reflected arch of Ha’penny Bridge at Lechlade to swans in bondage (as part of the ancient ritual of swan counting) at Reading; to the sadly benighted piles of Southend Pier carrying seers of sights across the mud.

It reminded me of my own journey down the river last summer accompanied by my seven-year-old son Richard in a Drascombe Lugger.

A YM reader, who had seen the piece I wrote for last December’s issue who is planning the same trip called up this week for some extra advice. He is to make the trip in a Drascombe Coaster – which unlike the lugger has a cabin. That is a wise choice as he will not have to spend extra time setting up camp each night as we did. I advised him, too, to leave his mainmast at Limehouse as he will not get much sailing in until he has passed beneath the 108 bridges en route.