What a fine set of desperadoes!
Great walk organised by John Stratford around the Watership Down area. During the whole walk we did not see one rabbit.
Lunch at the Carpenter's Arms was good but prices are gently rising.
August 2023 Walk
July 2023 Walk
The walk had specifically been timed to coincide with the annual Swan Upping flotilla passing up the Thames through Reading. As the club members had heard at a talk earlier in the year Swan Upping is an annual ceremony dating back to the 12th century in which mute swans on the River Thames are rounded up, caught, ringed, and then released. The skiffs of the three proprietors: the Crown, and the Worshipful Companies of the Dyers and of the Vintners, are rowed from Sunbury to Abingdon over five days.
The weather was beautiful : sunny and not too hot and the group set off from Caversham Bridge where a large flock of swans and ducks had gathered, but no cygnets were evident. Strolling downstream we passed the modernistic palace of the Headquarters of financially challenged Thames Water to encounter the flotilla in the environs of Reading Bridge. The flotilla consisted of three motor cruisers and half a dozen rowing skiffs each with a swan flag on the bow and the banner of their respective proprietors on the stern. The kings skiff looked particularly notable with the crew in scarlet tee shirts and white trousers coxed by the King’s Swan Marker resplendent in Scarlet Blazer with gold trimmings and topped with a Commodore’s cap containing a white swan’s feather. Several cygnets were seen on this stretch of the River.