We were recently granted a boat trip on Rivertime from the Michael Shanly Trust. The group had a wonderful trip on the Thames. See Robin Bootle's account of the afternoon.
Just to say thanks to you and every one else involved in fixing this afternoon's boat trip on the Thames from Henley.
Despite the fact that it had been a drenchingly wet night and morning, the sun came out as the journey began at 1430 and the weather remained dry until 20 minutes from its end at 1630. Was God smiling upon the ten members of the Centre offered the afternoon out?
The boat, Rivertime, was a superb adaptation of a Norfolk Broads cruiser, with access ramps and a lift for wheelchairs, not to mention a disabled on-board loo. There was a lot of room for people in wheelchairs and their carers to find comfortable viewing positions in the body of the craft.
The two crew members were affable, informative, helpful and - most important - skilful at controlling the craft.
The journey itself was a revelation of high life. Rivertime started upstream, passing exuberant and amazing riverside houses, few of which could be valued under the £2 million mark. The names of pop stars and TV personalities were mentioned, including that of magician Paul Daniels, the Centre's patron
At Shiplake, Rivertime turned for an extended run downstream, going under Henley Bridge, passing pavilions just erected for Henley Regatta and cruising the one mile length of the course itself, down to Temple Island. Distantly, we imagined the champagne-fuelled braying of stripe-blazered hearties at Phyllis Court.
Rivertime turned upstream just before it reached Mapledurham Lock and returned to its mooring alongside the Henley Rowing Museum on the second of 1630. Had the skipper practiced this piece of timekeeping?
A final plus from the day was that Centre members who knew each other not very well had the chance to natter and discover each other during the trip. Many thanks to one and all.
For details please see: http://www.rivertimeboattrust.org.uk/index.aspx