There comes a time in every Englishman’s life when he has to search for the source of the Thames. A pilgrimage to the spring from which flows our glorious history. Maybe a small puddle in a nondescript meadow some where in greenest Gloucestershire. But to deny this river, its source ,its birth is to cast out our culture.
So that’s where we were with our dear friends Ron and Sara. We passed the pub with the giveaway title Thamesource. We were close. We parked by a footpath sign. Not much sign of a footpath, but hey, did Richard Burton expect a paved way when he looked for the source of the Nile. A few brambles and some barley were easily pushed aside as we made our way around the field. This obviously wasn’t it, maybe it was in the next field, it looked more promising with a proper path, We pushed on until the end of the field but we were no nearer the source of England’s sacred river . The life line has weakened, we did not persevere, hell it was Sunday the pubs were open, we gave up and turned for the car.
On the way back at the gate we met a close cropped, leather cladded youth, His motor bike parked by our 4×4. What you doin’ here? Looking for the sources of the Thames? You wont find here, it’s a big river you know? The lad was obviously an imbecile but we a long way from the flying ambulance it was probably best to humour the fellow.
Well we heard it was down here somewhere. Well its not, I’ve told you it’s a big river,are you stupid. This is my secret place.
What did that mean. Had we stumbled on some scene from Straw Dogs/Deliverance some hilly billy rural horror show where soft handed metropolitans get trussed up and tortured by half witted yokels? I suddenly wished I had put my credit card in my shoe.
Its Ok we are going. Then he said Are these your wives. Oh my God it was going to be rape. Its not even dark. Its not fair I haven’t got a girlfriend. No surprises there but at that moment that’s not the point.
Its time to get real.There are four of us and one of he. Ok it was time to Man Up. Yes they are, whose asking. And whats more young man I don’t like your tone.Just joking. By then we were in the car and away.As we drove off he waved and cried Don’t Come Back.