Wallingford to Goring-on-Thames – 18th August 2022

Such very English sounding name – Goring-on-Thames – it sounds rightly posh.

We had only 2.5 hours of cruising between Wallingford and Goring, so took our time heading out. Before we chugged off, the local person from the council came along requesting payment of 12 pound for mooring for the night. It kind of grates as we already had to pay over 200 pound just to use the Thames for over three weeks and then get slugged more money each night for putting a few stakes into the river banks. It wouldn’t be so bad if they provided services at the moorings but they only seem to be at the locks.

Here we were discussing the water point at this particular lock with a couple on their yoghurt pot who come from New Zealand. The three services boaters need are water, rubbish depot and pooh pump out/elsan. You would think that they would provide these services altogether rather spread the services across three to four locks.

The Environmental Agency who govern the Thames changed all their water points last year at what we were told a cost of 10,000 pound per each tap. They put some kind of back flush valve on each tap which means that you cannot use a hose any longer than six to eight foot long to get water with any pressure. Not sure if anyone mentioned to the EA but the average narrowboat is roughly 50-58 foot long. The water point on the boat can be located anywhere along the length of the boat.  Narrowboaters always carry hoses that are about 60 foot long so if you try to use them on the Thames water points, you get a dribble. They do provide the six foot hoses but it appears they keep getting pinched. On the canals the don’t use this stupid back flush valve sytstem.

This is very frustrating for narrowboaters and water becomes a huge issue for us all. You can go into a marina (not a lot of them) on the Thames but then you have to pay for it. We certainly got the feeling from other boaters that there is going to be a huge backlash from this.

We are seeing many more exquisite properties along the banks.

Of course, you need the obligatory boat house.

So, into Goring we did arrive. On 10 July 2009, Goring was named Oxfordshire’s Village of the Year, ahead of 11 other villages.  Its riverside plain encloses the residential area, including a high street with shops, pubs and restaurants. Nearby are the village churches – one dedicated to St Thomas Becket has a nave built within 50 years of the saint’s death, in the early 13th century, along with a later bell tower. They love to use it a lot as it was just a trifle annoying.

Notable residents include Oscar Wilde who stayed here in the summer of 1893 who began writing his play An Ideal Husband which includes a main character named Lord Goring.

A more modern notable resident was the singer George Michael who lived at Mill Cottage in the later stages of his life. This is the photo of his front door which has since changed hands. He was found dead there at the age of 53 in the early hours of 25 December 2016.


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