Members Reviews


This was a flat walk of 9 miles along the beautiful part of the Thames Valley.

As usual we all met up in the second coach from the front of the train.

We passed the lovely suspension bridge designed by William Iierney Clark who designed Hammersmith Bridge.

We also enjoyed the fantastic view of the wooded slopes of Winter Hill. We then passed through Cock Marsh, one of the best lowland wetland sites in the country and an important breeding spot for wading birds who we fed with our RSPB approved pellets. 

We will then walk along the attractive high street to reach Maidenhead station, from where trains back to Paddington are frequent.



Today we had the exclusive use of a fully crewed compact narrowboat for a 3 hour canal cruise.

The deal for a very reasonable £25 per head included wine, soft drinks, tea and coffee.

It was a beautiful day! This truly was a very fine stretch of the canal indeed.  From our comfortable seats inside the boat our eye line was excitingly near the waterline, so we were eye to eye with the ducks and other waterfowl.

A couple of locks needed to be negotiated, that was exciting!

A few of use disembarked a little leg-stretching whilst  others stayed on board to ensure that no wine was left over at the end of the trip!



Around October time the Puppet Barge comes to Richmond, moored along the banks of Thames.

The barge is actually an old lighter with no engine of its own.

The hold of the boat has been converted into a puppet theatre.

This time the performance was: The Ancient Mariner. 

The curtain rose, there was the puppet stage; a different form of “magic rectangle” to the usual flat screens that so dominate our normal lives!

The show started with a puppet playing a violin solo. But – this was not a wooden performance; there was some eerily realistic bowing action, provided by the skilful young puppeteers, just pulling the strings.

Then the age-old tale began, the albatross was shot and the story continued.

At one point in the action the ship on stage was nearly sunk, in a storm, and at that very moment a passing motor launch steamed past up he river and our boat also rocked – just at the right moment.  We though that perhaps this was deliberate special effect.

At the end the puppeteers finally showed themselves, all dressed in black.















V8Media | acms