With Shirley still hobbling around on crutches - albeit slightly more 'spritely' these days! - we headed out to the lovely Thames riverside town of Marlow yesterday evening to meet up with our good friends Pam and Chas Watkins for dinner.
Marlow is one of those typically old-fashioned and picturesque Thames-side towns which you find all the way up the river; it's smart and trendy too with lots of eating places, bars and folks just ambling around although for some odd reason we didn't understand it seemed quieter last night; maybe the 'calm before the storm' of Henley Regatta next week?
Marlow is famous for quite a few things including notably the Marlow Bridge across the River Thames - there's been one there since 1227!! The present 'chain' suspension bridge built between 1829 and 1832 replaced a wooden one which fell down! It has a rather unique design which it shares with one of the major bridges in Budapest, the Szechenyi Chain Bridge, which is the largest of the four suspension bridges designed by the Bristol born engineer, Tierney Clark.
The Two Brewers pub on St. Peters' Street opened in 1755 and is rumoured to have been the Inn where Jerome K Jerome wrote a few chapters of his famous book, 'Three Men in a Boat' - well, who knows?
Anyway we enjoyed a nice meal in good company, as always with Pam and Chas. The occasion gave Chas and I the opportunity to talk through the logistics for our annual 'boys boating trip' on the River in advance of Henley Royal Regatta which starts on Wednesday - we're going to meet up on Thursday morning and cast off for a few days cruisin' 'n drinkin' along with Phil Henson, another old friend who also has a long-boat on the Thames; I think there'll be 5 of us in all on 2 boats this year which should be fun!
Let's see if the English summer can dish us up some nice warm sunny weather for a change!!