History all around us

Wey Navigation Aug15 (4)This summer seems to have been full of touring opportunities and, continuing the theme of last month’s blog, August has seen me out on another river that I’d only previously had the briefest of acquaintances with – the River Wey. It proved another very enjoyable club paddle, with good company and a good pub, the Parrot Inn, to stop at for lunch (see Pete Knowles’ excellent Pub Paddles!).

Good company and good food aside however it was the sense of history that struck me most as we made our way upstream through Guildford and out onto the meadows beyond. There’s the obvious working river/canal heritage of Dapdune Wharf, now owned by the National Trust, followed by the less visible, unless you crane your neck right back, 1913 Electricity Works, but it was smaller things like the vertical rollers used to guide tow lines around corners and under bridges and the former gunpowder wharf, now incorporated into a business park, that stood out. There was a real sense that we were only the latest in a long line of boaters to pass along this gentle but full of interest waterway.

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