Desborough Cut

Desborough Cut

Artificial Cut, left (south) bank, bypassing a couple of miles of the old river.

Desborough Island

Right bank of cut, between Cut and Old River

Desborough Cut Lower Bridge

The Eastern Bridge, road entry onto island (exit via Upper Bridge)

Lower Desborough Cut Bridge, Doug Myers © 2005
Lower Desborough Cut Bridge, Doug Myers © 2005

Desborough Cut Upper Bridge

The Western bridge, road exit from island, (entry via Lower Bridge)

Upper Desborough Cut Bridge, Doug Myers © 2005
Upper Desborough Cut Bridge, Doug Myers © 2005

1934: Both bridges built
Ironically, I was advised that punters should avoid the Desborough Cut because it has vertical banks and wash builds up badly. I say 'ironically' because the cut is named after that same Lord Desborough (W.H.Grenfell) who was the amateur punting champion who lived near Boulters – and what he would say, to having the part of the Thames named after him denied to punters, I shudder to think – for he was a forthright man.

Lord Desborough Lord Desborough punting
William Henry Grenfell, Lord Desborough of Taplow

The Evening News: (on his election to Parliament)-

His broad, level brow beneath curling light hair, his straight, but not classic nose, his clear, far-seeing eyes, are typically English. His strong neck rises from a pair of broad, supple shoulders, and his arms are as massive as those of some hero of the classic sculptures.

HOWEVER amongst the options for flood prevention in this part of the river is a proposal to increase the capacity of the Desborough Channel by dredging and making the banks a more natural shape. So, maybe, he won't have to rise up and haunt us after all!

1909: The Story of the Thames, J E Vincent -

Of Lord Desborough to the present generation it is not necessary to say anything; but, in the fond hope that this volume may reach the eyes of some in years to come, it is added that to Lord Desborough, formerly Mr. W.H.Grenfell, Chairman of the Thames Conservancy for many years, perhaps the very finest oarsman, swimmer, and punter of his generation, to say nothing of his excellence in many other athletic pursuits, all users of the river Thames owe an immense debt of gratitude. He has been their champion and the river's friend also; and his championship has been the more effectual in that all men knew that no man understood better the needs of the river and of its frequenters.

[ It does feel good to grant somebody's "fond hope"! ]