The Thames is lined with boathouses ranging from small sheds perched on the bank to palaces capable of holding a small navy and accommodating the crew above. This is one of the latter, and I remember it vividly from my childhood.
We were rowing from Wallingford up to Benson when we were caught in a sudden and violent thunderstorm. My parents noticed the boathouse doors were open and we sheltered inside. Their relief at being safe from the lightning was palpable, but us kids just revelled in the sensation of being afloat in the indoor gloom, lit only by the occasional flashbang.
It was great to see the boathouse in such great condition when we passed by last week, as was another favourite, a Stockbrokers' Tudor boathouse in Oxford (right).
Many, however, have been sadly neglected. Look at the state of this boathouse near Northmoor (below). It is falling into the river but a massive new non-boathouse is being built behind at huge expense. Someone has their priorities dead wrong here.