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Published: September 8th 2019
Ready to leave the Riverside
5 September 2019, Thursday
Day 4 Thames Path, Lechlade to Tadpole Bridge, day 20 of travel
Riverside Inn with its paddle boat swans as well as live swimming swans was our start for the day. Across the bridge and along the pasture we walked. The Halfpenny Bridge toll booth is right on the bridge at the Riverside Inn. One of the few remaining historic toll booths but no longer a toll bridge. Traffic is busy on these one lane bridges controlled by traffic lights.
After a short walk we come to St John's Lock. This is now the resting place of Father Thames statue. We cross and pass several bridges, some are made of wood, others are made of stone. As we pass through the fields and meadows we also come across the first of the many pill boxes that were built in the 1940s during World War II.
- pillboxes- here we have a memory of WWII. These concrete defences sit quietly along this section of the river. They are slowly decaying. It is difficult to believe that in 1940 they formed a line of defence called Stop Line Red. At this time Britain was so vulnerable to
The Riverside flowers
invasion and morale was low. It was feared Rommel's panzers would over run the Midlands. They were obsolete as soon as built and only manned once in a false alarm. An 80 year old memory of a desperate time.
Our next lock is Buscot Lock. We have several pictures of it. Both the river and the locks seem quite narrow here. We divert and walk a short way opposite the path direction to Kelmscott. At the Plough Inn we rest and have some soup. Kelmscott is the home of the Arts & Crafts designer William Morris.
If you have been in our home you know we like the oak Stickley furniture. As we age I wish it weighed half of what it does! But I have never grown weary of it's design principles. William Morris comes from the Stickley era. Morris was not only an innovative designer, he was a poet, Craftsman and socialist. He must also have been quite an athlete as he would row his family and friends from his London home to his summer home in Kelmscott. Wow, that would be going upstream on the Thames! The house is undergoing restoration and is only open
The Bridge at Lechlade with its historic toll booth. The Halfpenney Bridge.
two days a week. Alas, we are not passing through😏 on an open day or we would have to figure a way for me to catch up with the group after dreaming away a half day at Kelmscott!!
Back on the path we also encounter an unusual stone slab fence. See photo. At Grafton Lock there is a flower pot showing the 2003 flood level mark. This is well above the top of all of the locks and weirs.
We stop at Ye Olde Swan Inn and Pub for an ice cream, salted caramel and chocolate. One of the long boats on the river has a virtual garden of flower pots on the roof top deck. Our final lock of the day is at Rushey lock. We arrive at The Trout Inn at Tadpole Bridge. It is a little newer and more upscale than the pub inns. The young man checking us in at the desk is from New Zealand on a work travel program for 2 years.
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