Heading for Reading

With a promise of some engineering attention from Piper Boats at the end of the week, it was time to set sail for the delights of Reading. When we left Abingdon, we had spotted the steam barge Magic Dragon moored up at the chandlery, and it reminded us of some nice, cat-friendly moorings at Beale Park, where we spotted her last September, so headed off for there.

Stopping in Goring/Streatley for lunch, the size of the weir provides a salutary reminder that the river is getting bigger and bigger. And as per our last visit the Goring Art Gallery had some works with folkie connections, in this instance Caroline Ritson, better known to us as a member of the ceilidh band The Geckoes and (long long ago) the infamous Jumpleads.

Goring LockThe Swan, StreatleyStreatley Common

The Captain pronounced satisfaction on our arrival at the Beale Park moorings.

Sir surveying the mooring pinsAnyone home?

The photogenic cottage in the woods across the river had clearly decided on a variation of the three china ducks flying up the living room wall.

In a Cottage, In a Wood...Three ducks

And as well as being a nice place to moor up, the Inland Waterways Association Festival at Beale Park some years ago was the first time we came across Piper Boats and their Dutch Barges, while Fran has fond memories of childhood visits to the wildlife park with her grandparents. Mind you, back then they had hundreds of peacocks, which wouldn’t have exactly made for a quiet mooring spot.

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