Some more modern history






I remember this all too well.

I helped tidy up the financial mess after all that though you might have to look hard to find my role and did most of the internal design for the re-launch. Under new management now of course a few years ago. They have done a brilliant job on yet another internal conversion. Like it. Most of the design elements I put in are still there. Just re-purposed in a different way to my thoughts. A new look that is probably better in a way. Well worth a visit if you are in Oxford. All River Thames and good British countryside  dinning and drinking. And the history, well……. Lewis Carrol and all that.

You can find the original artwork for the Pub Sign for when the pub re-opened. From a design by me but constructed by a far greater artist than me. There were also Business cards as you would expect.

If you find one, do the trick we loved to show people. Look at the card and see the fish of the Pub’s name. Get the dreaming spires reference and the fish in the water below. The steeples you see are an ‘homage’ to the fact that this Pub is owned by Christ Church College from back in Dissolution of the Monasteries which they got to inherit.

Such are roots of history. See elsewhere about the havoc a small hamlet can create.

But that fish.

Turn the card round and look again. See the dreaming spires in a new light?


P.S. That tent in the review? Well see elsewhere in my interests for where that idea came from.

The line of trees from The Perch to the river conceals a footpath. There is a landing stage of sorts.

This section in The Stripling Thames by Fred Thacker

1910: This section in Thames Valley Villages by Charles G Harper

2008: September – The Perch re-opened after a fire. See link

2007: The Perch caught fire and lost most of its roof in May –

A Sunday stroll!prettyPhoto

and many more. Try “The Perch Binsey” in Google images or videos (as see above).




7 thoughts on “Some more modern history

  1. I fished quite a bit with my father and the prize of our efforts was the perch that is pictured. Firmer flesh than most other fishes. Cleaned many as the limit was fifty and more than once while ice fishing we caught a 5 gallon pail full. Do your lakes freeze thick enough so you could ice fish?

  2. No. But the Thames around Port Meadow used to freeze from the bottom up! Little icicles from the river bed around pillars and the like -or so I was told.

    Bottom Ice in the Freshwater Thames!

    One of the great scientific facts of my childhood was the understanding that whilst most liquids become denser as they get colder this only applies to water down to a point, and that point is at about 4ºc. Water is at its densest at this temperature and then as it cools further it actually gets less dense.

    This strange quirk of nature is probably responsible for the survival of life on earth and certainly for life on land. Together with the fact that ice is less dense than water and therefore floats – it means that even relatively small bodies of water never freeze through to the bottom – and therefore life could survive.

    There is another thing which I suspect the Conservancy, by their dredging, may have stopped, but I am not certain, as it is so long since we have had a severe winter, and that is the formation of ‘ground ice’, ice that is that forms on the bottom of the river.
    When I spoke to my science master about it he talked about the maximum density of water, and told me that the thing was impossible, but I took him down to the river, and showed him, opposite the barges [ie the College Barges along the left bank at Christchurch Meadow], the bottom all covered in ice.

    I think he was annoyed, but at the river for behaving so unaccountably – indecently even, he seemed to think – and not at me. He was so far right that in a lake or in a river of uniform depth the ice cannot so form, but in the Thames in those days there were deep reaches followed by banks of gravel over which the water was shallow.

    In times of frost the heavier warmer [ie 4ºc] water sank and remained in the deep parts, and what flowed on was the lighter water at or close to freezing point, and when the crystals formed in this they attached themselves, as forming crystals will, to any solid they could find; in this case to the gravel at the bottom.

    This ice rose from time to time in spongy masses, bringing with it some of the gravel, and floated on until it reached the lock. Here it packed, and if the frost continued, formed a thick mass of rough ice which, as more came down extended further and further up stream; and it was on this ice, far more than surface ice, that on three occasions I remember a coach and four was driven from Folly Bridge to Iffley.

  3. Ice on bottom of river. The last Christmas at grad school I did not go to SD for Christmas to take the vacation to try to get finished the next year. But a friend and decided to go to eastern Oregon and fly fish on a couple night break for the weekly reports had such was still happening in December. When we got there the deep pools were frozen over and in the shallow faster flowing spots ice had formed on the bottom rocks and the water was flowing over them just as you found. During the nights the temperature fell to zero and were first planning to sleep outside in a tent, but that was too breezy (hence there was cold air flowing over the water) and we moved into the back of my pickup which had a low canopy. Not any warmer but less breezy. But that is not the issue.

    One, we have common experiences, thus we must consider we saw a phenomenon common given the conditions. Is this an accident? I call such a coincidence as this a God sighting. But that is me. Another coincidence is I wrote today: 6th bit: A liquid will condense on almost any surface, but crystallization requires the presence of crystal faces of the proper kind. Moore Pure water may, in certain circumstances, be cooled far below ‘freezing-point’ to become ‘supercooled’. Sutcliffe Could a supercooled stream, river, following along encounter such a crystal face on the surfaces of rocks or gravel and begin to freeze there, anchored to the surface of the rock, gravel??

    Better idea than any thoughts of your science master who did not believe your observation possible.

  4. “Better idea than any thoughts of your science master who did not believe your observation possible.”

    That’s the problem with ‘observations’. What other, related observations are there? How many unknowns?

    P.S. It wasn’t me who saw all this. It was 100+ years in the past. And that ‘no cold winters’ comment, I just went……..

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