On Saturday, 29 June, the Chairman of the Broad Street Ward Club, our Common Councilman Chris Hayward, and the Secretary, Judith Rich, organised the most delightful day in Henley-on-Thames. Saturday was the day before the Regatta, so the town and the teams were polishing and practising everywhere. The day started with a whirlwind tour of the River & Rowing Museum. This architecturally stunning museum combines several themes – rowing, the Thames, local Henley history, and The Wind In The Willows. Then some of us took to the water for an hour to inspect the course. In a spirit of gamesmanship, we used a stinkpot rather than a scull to give the crews a fighting chance. Lunch is always a highlight of a Broad Street Ward Club day out, but in this case our Chairman used his connections as a member of the renowned Leander Rowing Club to have us dine above the river and amidst the pink hippos.
Following lunch we were permitted to view the Leander Club library where a delightful surprise emerged. The library had been founded with a donation of 1,750 books from Tom Hoffman, also a Common Councilman and Gresham College Trustee. I’d never known… And I had to take this picture of An American Boy At Henley.
Tickets to the museum are good for a year, so we returned after lunch for a second dose before catching the train home. As Rat (Kenneth Grahame) solemnly observed, “there is NOTHING — absolute nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”