Other PicoMicroYacht

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The Anchor Inn and bread and cheese for only ninepence

I had got as far as Pyford Lock on the previous journey, adjacent to the Anchor Inn, one of the best public houses on the river Wey. There was low light at the start of the journey.

The Anchor Inn by the Pyrford Lock

As I journeyed on I was reflecting on reading bargemaster Captain White's account of the Anchor Inn, and that 'them olden days' on the river were both good and bad:

'But if you could have seen the old Anchor Public Hours.... There used to be chickens, dogs, cats, pigs, running in and out of the bars. Oh, you was down to earth alright..... How they used to make it pay in these pubs, I don't know. But the stench, it was terrible. you used to go in a pub, get a pint and bread and cheese... 'course in the Anchor, they give you half a loaf and half a pound of cheese...ninepence! you wouldn't get that for ninepence now. The bread they used to bake theirself. There were no bakers in those days. But the beer was good!'

From Captain White's River Life, Edited and illustrated by Nancy Larcombe, 1985

The next stretch of the river onward Guildford has a gentle beauty.  The trees were reflected in the still water, the muted greens and greys reminiscent of Corot's landscapes.

I passed the summer house of Pyrford Place, reputed to have been where the poet and Church of England cleric John Donne wooed the heiress Ann More.

Further on there were glimpses of the remains of the Newark priory, which dates back to the 11th Century and  was destroyed by cannonballs on the orders of Henry VIII as part of the dissolution of the monasteries. 

As PicoMicroYacht voyaged the seven miles to the outskirts of Guildford, the light was fading and arrival was in the dark.

A video clip below captures some of the voyage. I was having trouble with the rudder and keeping PicoMicroYacht going straight, which accounts for some of the jerky camera shots. The background music is an anthem set to music  by Aaron Copland.

'Soon we'll reach the shining river,
Soon our pilgrimage will cease,
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace'.

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