The Molesworth Peace Camp

Enjoying Cambridge and witnessing the start of the CND Molesworth Peace march on a showery day as Diana visited the launderette before cruising down the Cam to Ely as I washed and worked on The Lady with a fascinating stop at Horningsea and its garden centre but we successfully made Babylon and the Cutter Inn. The news featured the peace march and Thatcher visiting the Far East


Awake at 7.00am and only Daniel was awake earlier and reading in the cold morning air. Up and to put on the kettle and heating and the boat was soon warm. I made the morning drinks as Diana fed the baby, then played with her whilst she got washed and dressed. Then to wash and shave whilst Di made the breakfast and out to start a long job of washing the boat roof and walkways clean with river water. The day started very still and fine, but misty. As the sun won through, the breeze started up. The children were playing outside on the Jesus Green swings until they fell out and came back to the boat quarrelling (again). Diana then off to the launderette on the other side of the river and over the road bridge to wash and tumble dry our last few days’ urgent washing. Just about finished my wash of the boat by the time that they returned and so took the children off towards the sound of a public address system next to Jesus Lock. It was the CND Rally starting point for their march to Molesworth and a few hundred people had assembled to hear speakers from supporting dignitaries and the Mayor of Cambridge received a petition of signatures. A refreshments van dispensed cups of tea and buttered hot cross buns, which we accepted free of charge. Eventually, to a song of protest, they lined up and, with banners, filed across Jesus Lock Bridge and off towards Huntingdon, where we may see them in a few days. A peaceful people with children and comradely goodwill, who left a lasting impression and a few more converts to their noble cause.

Back to The Lady and all aboard to set off, taking care not to spread mud over the newly cleaned boat. Daniel (under protest) took the helm and I weighed the mooring pins and washed them free of mud when we were under way. A nice cruise and I started to polish the boats outside woodwork until I spotted the Horningsea Dock Road mooring free and took over from Daniel to moor The Lady. All out and for a walk around this charming Cambridgeshire village. It is full of charming cottages, terraced and with accommodation obviously ideal for the older folk. Also fine farm houses of generous size lining the High Street. We eventually stopped at the pub opposite the garden centre and had some drinks and ploughman’s lunches in the garden together, as they did not let children inside. After, across the road to the Horningsea Garden Centre, the reason for our visit, and the very first time we had come by boat. A splendid centre with good quantities of all garden furniture, buildings and plants, but, most of all, the water world aquarian centre. Plenty of tropical fish, but no koi carp as they were building a cold water fish wing when we visited. Back slowly to the boat, stopping first at the village shop for some ice creams and milk, and then at the phone box for Diana to phone our help, Joan. The reason was to get her to feed our doves and cancel the milk deliveries until further notice; but she told us of how the bird table was overturned today and about the white feathers on the lawn and only one white dove visible. Back to The Lady and Daniel willingly takes the helm (as I have let him use the stereo headphones) whilst I carry on polishing the woodwork. Through Baitsbite Lock and on towards Ely as the spitting rain turns into heavy showers and I come in to take the helm as Daniel joins Diana and Debbie for a card game of Happy Families. To Ely and to moor up for a refill of water at the Ely boatyard and a gallon of petrol for mixing as outboard motor fuel. Then to moor by the Cutter Inn and to a tea of hot cross buns, sausage rolls and trifle before an evening of reading and writing. No newspaper today, but radio news of Thatcher’s visit to the Far East and of the start to the Molesworth marches, which we had seen at first hand. The weather quite mild and forecast showery, but with the central heating, the boat is warm and imperious to the wet weather.