SILLY FOOTBRIDGE - Hurley Lock Lower Cut Footbridge
NOTE - NO EASY ACCESS TO HURLEY VILLAGE - USE UPPER FOOTBRIDGE
The Hurley Lock Cut is on the Left bank
1834: Timber footbridge rebuilt (there was probably a swing bridge here before that)
1880: Silly Bridge, Henry Taunt -
Silly Bridge, Henry Taunt, 1880
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT2803
Hurley Backwater, Mortimer Menpes, 1906
1906: G.E.Mitton -
In order to reach the lock one passes under a high wooden foot-bridge, the marrow to one further up. On the lock island is a large red-brick mill-house, near which stand one or two evergreens; while on an apple tree in the lock-keeper's garden is a fine growth of mistletoe, of which he is justly proud.
2005: Hurley Lock Cut Lower Footbridge
Freebody's Boatyard website
Left bank on cut below Hurley Lock, 01628 824382 -
Freebody's boatyard is heaven - heaven that is for anyone who appreciates mahogany and brass and steam and has lots and lots of money - but we can all dream.
This is the centre of all the steam and antique electric boats on the Thames.
You may see apparently wrecked and decrepit boats here waiting for restoration.
Nothing is beyond help if you have the money. The final product is magnificent.
1998: The local paper had an article on Freebody's -
In Hurley, Peter Freebody, 68, is the latest in
a long line of boatbuilders and can trace his family working on the Thames
back to 1257. His world famous workshop in Mill Lane employs
14 people and builds and restores boats using traditional wood. His cheapest
boats cost around £10,000. Mr Freebody has sent boats all over Britain
and the world. But it is very much a family trade. Mr Freebody said:
"I was told I was going to be a boatbuilder, my grandmother told me.
I went to Gordon Road School in Maidenhead, and left in 1949 when my grandfather got me an apprenticeship in Cookham Dean.
It was completely in my genes. I have been working here since I was six when I used to come in and help out."
Mr Freebody uses traditional methods to build boats, and says little has changed in 40 years.
[ I punted against the late Peter Freebody in a regatta in perhaps 1980? - but I was too nervous and did not allow for the sticky clay on my side of the course - and so delighted the crowd by losing my pole - why do people so love to see a punter come to grief? ]