1794: Report of a survey of the river Thames between Reading and Isleworth ... John Rennie (the Elder)
From [Quarry Woods] to the mouth of the Wycomb stream is good water,
but there is a shoal about 100 yards in length, in which there are only four feet three inches.
It should be deepened about six inches, for little more than the breadth of a barge;
and as the bottom is a hard gravel, there will be little danger of its filling up.
Mr. Rose, of Spade Oak Wharf, has a right of towage for horses along a field near his house, which ought to be purchased ; and a ferry should be established for the horses that come from Boulter's Lock, so that they might continue throughout to Marlow.
Just above the Wycomb stream there is an ayt, on the Berks side, which keeps the horses at a great distance from the barges. A towing path should be made through it.
1880: William Morris, Putney to Kelmscot -
Towed on in most beautiful sunset past Cookham. Country very delightful from Cookham Lock onward: hills (low chalk banks call them) fall back from the river which is very wide: the whole full of character.
1906: E Mitton -
[Upstream from the Cookham Bridge] we can view the wide expanse of Bourne End, where the races of the Upper Thames Sailing Club are held all the summer, and where, about the end of June, when the great regatta is held, the surface of the water is dotted with swan-like boats.
1899: Bourne End, Francis Frith -
Left bank below and above railway
Bourne End Railway Bridge
1857: Built in Timber by T H Bartram, Brunel's
assistant and successor.
1869: Known as "Marlow Railway Bridge"
It must have been a terror to navigation. There was much complaint of its dangerous state; barges frequently collided with it and were sued by the railway company for damage.
1880: First Bourne End Railway Bridge, Henry Taunt -
First Bourne End Railway Bridge, Henry Taunt, 1880
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT2819
The Jolly Young Watermaids, anon, Punch, [sounds like Ashby-Sterry] -
And have you not read of eight jolly young watermaids,
Lately at Cookham accustomed to ply
And feather their oars with a deal of dexterity,
Pleasing the critical masculine eye?
They swing so truly and pull so steadily,
Multitudes flock to the river-side readily:-
Its not the eighth wonder that all the world's there,
But this watermaid eight, ne'er in want of a stare.
What sights of white costumes! What ties and what hatbands,
Leander Cerise! We don't wish to offend,
But are these first thoughts with the dashing young women
Who don't dash too much in a spurt off Bourne End?
Mere nonsense, of course! There's no giggling and leering
Complete ruination to rowing and steering; -
"All eyes in the boat"" is their coachs' first care,
And a spin of twelve miles is as naught to the fair.
Ladies Eight at the first Bourne End Railway Bridge.
1895: A new steel bridge, designed by J C Inglis.
1897: Second Bourne End Railway Bridge, James Dredge -
Second Bourne End Railway Bridge, James Dredge, 1897
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; D230177a
In dredging near this bridge a dug-out flat-bottomed boat of oak, probably of the Bronze Age,
was found and given to the late Frank Buckland for his collection at South Kensington Museum.
1994/5: a footpath was attached to the upstream side of the bridge to form part of the Thames Path and to replace the Spade Oak Ferry.
Bourne End Railway Bridge in 1999
Bourne End, Left bank mooring, pub grub 01628 520056
Left bank 01628 522813 Mob 07798 533426
Riverlight Restaurant, Bourne End
1899: Bourne End Marina, Francis Frith -
Right bank 01628 520263
1887: The "Bourne End Week" Regatta was instituted.
2006: The Maidenhead Advertiser -
The time-honoured Bourne End Week took place on the River Thames in the last week of May.
The event, which dates back more than 100 years, is an inland sailing regatta for dinghies,
Merlin Rockets, Wayfarers, Fireflies, International OKs, Classic Inter-national 14s,
handicap boats and cadets.
The regatta offers the elegant Thames A Raters an opportunity to sail their national championships for their historic silver trophies. The Queens Cup, donated to the club by Queen Victoria when her son the Duke of Connaught was president of the club, is the final race of the week, in which these elegant 25ft dinghies with up to 40ft masts collect the wind above the trees and glide along the river.
Neptune figurehead at Upper Thames Sailing Club
I think you can tell where the bowsprit is from the look on his face
Spade Oak Ferry
Originally controlled by Benedictine Nuns at Little Marlow.
1761: In Rocques Survey, however Fred Thacker reckoned it was not in actual existence till 1822
1826: Spade Oak Ferry and a ferry house
1859: The Thames, Mr & Mrs Hall
Shade-Oak[sic Spade-Oak] Ferry is next reached, and here the river begins to assume a more busy and active character — barges, punts, boats, " canoes", and racing-boats are more often encountered; the shores are more populous than they have been hitherto, and we gradually lose that sense of solitude with which the grand old "Father" has so continually oppressed us higher up the stream.
1915?: A pontoon bridge by the Spade Oak, a First World War training exercise -
Spade Oak Pontoon Bridge, 1915?
Right bank above Bourne End, footpath over railway, then up Coldmoorholme Lane 300yds, 01628 520090