Thursday, 12 June 2014

Boulters Lock!!!!

In my last blog I mentioned the infamous Boulters Lock and now would like to tell you why arriving at this lock fills me with trepidation.

Back in the mid 80's Tony decided he'd like a boat and to persuade me it was a good idea, he convinced the parents to babysit and booked us a weekend on a hire boat on the Thames. Similar to this one.

We picked the boat up from the boat yard, in Maidenhead, Saturday lunchtime and after a very short intro we set off. Just around the corner was our first ever lock. Boulters Lock.

The official lock mooring was on our left, however it was full, so Tony decided to moor up on the right. See that mooring in the photo? Well it has been much improved over the years. Back then there was no railing and no bollards, just the 12" square beam and upright posts with the river in front & the fast running weir behind.

From the front, where he was driving, Tony gave me instructions to 'Get a rope around the post'. Having failed to lasso the post I stepped off the boat onto the beam and, petrified, grabbed the post, hanging on for dear life. Mean while Tony decided he wasn't happy with the post he had lassoed and proceeded to move the rope, just at that moment the sluices of the lock were opened, sending a torrent of water in front of the boat which was then pushed out into the middle of the river towards the boats moored on the other bank. Worried that he might hit the other boats, Tony shouted 'Pull me in', which of course was impossible against the force of the water coming out of the lock and anyway, by then, I only had 6 inches of rope left in my hand & had to at that point let go.

So there I was, on my own, in the middle of the river with a raging river in front & a raging weir behind, Tony & the boat disappearing the way we had come and a restaurant full of lunchtime diners watching the whole spectacle.

Tony finally managed to get control of the boat & returned to pick up his very frightened & embarrassed wife. It's a wonder I ever let him buy a boat. But I'm glad I did or we wouldn't be on this wonderful adventure now.

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