Wey Navigation – Coxes Mill to Parvis Wharf

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The imposing Coxes Mill towers over the surrounding countryside

Coxes Mill, which has the fairly unusual distinction of being sited on a canal rather than a river. As history puts it, the Wey navigation’s last working boats operated to Coxes Mill until 1969 (with a short resume in the 1980’s.)

It can be easily deduced that the remainder of the navigation southwards in some respects survived because the boatyard that was used to maintain the renowed Wey barges was situated at Guildford, whilst the lock gates were built at Send.

There are many photographs in existence showing the various Wey barges making their way to/from Guildford for maintenance or repairs. Since the use of horses had long finished, diesel tugs were employed for these workings

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Attractive New Haw’s lock house’s tranquil setting – actually its next to a busy road!

Until very recently (about 2011) New Haw’s bottom lock gates were operated by ropes 🙂 Specially weighted lock beams are now used.

The cottage has a chequered history. Perhaps the most momentous was in the 1980s when it was almost completely destroyed due to a gas cylinder exploding. Many months of intensive repair work saw the cottage thankfully restored.

It became ‘Cherry Cottage,’ the home of Arnold Bedford in the film version of HG Wells’ First Men in the Moon (see pictures below.) Filming took place there from 3pm to 5pm on 10th October 1963. One of the scenes involved Martha Hyer driving a 1902 De Dion car along the towpath towards the cottage

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Local news cutting on the filming of First Men in the Moon – published October 18th 1963

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Cherry Cottage as the postman arrives with Arnold Bedford’s letters. Note the old road bridge at the foot of the lock. Clearly the movie was filmed after the slipway adjacent to the lock had been filled in.

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Edward Judd and Martha Hyer, with De Dion car, at New Haw lock, 10 October 1963. The paddle gear is clearly more like those found on the canals rather than the friction-geared ones used today

This section of navigation above New Haw lock in its early days was known as the Long Reach. Its spectacularly straight and its embankment across New Haw common had the largest earthworks ever built for any 17th century waterway. Such feats were not repeated until the ‘new canal builders’ of the 18th Century constructed the Bridgewater Canal

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The M25 crosses the navigation and parallels it for a considerable distance, thankfully shielded by trees most of the way. The Basingstoke takes off to the right just before the bridgehole seen in the distance

The Basingstoke Canal’s 37 and half miles from Byfleet (Woodham) to Basingstoke

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Just before Parvis Wharf are the moorings at Byfleet Boat Club. The old club was on the offside until the 1960’s. In the summer rowing boats are available for hire

Below is a old scene showing the former boat house on the opposite side at Parvis:

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Beyond the Byfleet Boat club moorings is Parvis’ Wharf. There’s a chandlery. Gas and coal is available and boat repairs are carried out

The southern end of the wharf marks the end of the Long Reach

Link: Parvis Wharf

Next: Parvis to Walsham Gates

Wey Navigation Pages:

Thames Lock – Weybridge Town / Coxes – Parvis Wharf / Parvis – Walsham Gates / Newark – Worsfold Gates / Worsfold – Stoke / Stoke – Guildford Wharf / Town Mill – St Catherine’s / Shalford – Godalming / Harry Stevens

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