Godrey Dykes

  If you have arrived here without reading the Herbert Lott Story I would recommend you click on the link below and start your journey there.

The Herbert Lott Story

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  Herbert Lott's last home and where his remains rest. Despite the explicit instructions written into his will, his burial was tragically simple and his grave totally unmarked. These pictures were taken on Wednesday 23rd February 2005 during my visit to Wallingford where I was hosted by the present incumbent of the house in which Herbert Lott lived and died, people in the town who remembered him, and the South Oxon County Council who are responsible for the cemetery in which he is buried.

No 20 St John's Road. Herbert Lott rented the front room. This is one of his two windows, this one overlooking St John's Road. Herbert Lott's front room bed-sit second window, which overlooks the front door entrance. Painted pink, a view of 20 St John's Road from across the street. No 20 shares the building with No 19 as two semi detached premises. Another view of the front door area of No 20 St John's Road showing Herbert Lott's two front room windows.
The upper parts of No 20 St John's Road. he front door are and front door of No 20 St John's Road with the next semi to the left. The 'Old Boat House' at Wallingford. The areas at the front (boat landing and patio) are new (post 1947) but the boat house itself can be seen through the shrubs/trees. This is where Herbert Lott kept his boat, and obviously started and finished his journey from here which originally was a shingled area. The beautiful bridge (with its traffic light controlled single file crossing) over the river at Wallingford. Herbert Lott would have known this sight well, but he never rowed through its arches.
This is where the local fishing fraternity stood/sat with their rods, over which Herbert Lott would row when leaving and returning to the Old Boat House. The view is looking in the opposite direction to where the bridge is sited, up towards Benson (as in RAF BENSON) lock. Herbert Lott would row for approximately one mile up the lock and then return to the Old Boat House. This is the property of F.J.W. Constable, the man with him at the time of his death, registered in Column 7 of the death certificate as being the 'informant'. His name was Fred, and his aunt, Mrs Edith Caple, was Herbert's landlady and owner of No 20 St John's Road. A close up of the front door which used to the house of Fred Constable. Another view of the landing stage at the 'Old Boat House' {now a pub come restaurant} looking towards Benson Lock.
This grave has no significance other than it being of the sister of Donald Pyne the now owner of 20 St John's Road. How strange that Herbert Lott's unmarked grave (and before my enquiries not known about) is just a few feet away. The next four pictures tell a sad tale. Each photograph shows a different view (well, slightly different) of a grassed area underneath which rests the remains of Herbert Charles Lott in grave number U17. Grave number U17 is totally unmarked but was confirmed as being the correct grave by Trevor Gwyn, an executive of the South Oxon County Council who accompanied me to the cemetery with his plans etc. The grey coloured flower holder to the left has, immediately behind it, a lighter grey coloured marker on which is written '15' meaning 'U15'. In the centre you will see a piece of wood stuck into the ground on which there is a white letter 'T. This sign starts row 'T' and the corner of the first grave can just been seen at the lower left side of the Yew tree: next to it on the right, and clearly visible, is the next grave. The marker for row 'U' is no longer in position. However, the flower holder rests on the head end of grave U15 and between it and the pathway, there are two unmarked graves namely U16 and U17.
Therefore, from the description in the preceeding three photograph, you should have a reasonable idea of where the subject of my story lies, and since it is an unmarked grave running parallel with the walkway, it is clear that it has been used to widen the walkway at that point in the cemetery by people attending other burials or by those tending the graves of their loved ones who have a known place of pilgrimage! Surely, this would look a lot better. There is enough money in the HLNTF to give the man the respect, dignity and recognition he deserves. Some executor? This is a picture of the Boat House as it was in 1925. Supplied by Donald Pyne of Wallingford.
The Wallingford Boat House in the 1940's with a new landing stage but no restaurant. The large doors [two in number] are quite clear. Supplied by Donald Pyne of Wallingford. Wallingford Boat House with its original landing stage from and to which Herbert Lott would have rowed his skiff. Supplied by Donald Pyne of Wallingford. St John's Road Wallingford showing the home of Herbert Lott beyond the pub. Picture taken in 1906. Supplied by Donald Pyne of Wallingford. Sunday morning 20th March 2005. My wife and I had just put flowers of Herberts grave. We had also found a piece of discarded marble, so we placed it at the head of the grave as a temporary marker. Apart from his funeral proper, and even then, who knows [?], these may be the very first flowers placed up Herbert's grave in nearly [July 2005] 58 years.
The Wallingford Boathouse taken from the opposite bank of the River Thames on 20th March 2005. A view of Benson Lock one and a half miles from Wallingford Bridge where Herbert Lott used to row to, a return journey of three miles for a man nearly 90 years of age. The quiet waters of the Benson Lock in the foreground and the rush of water through the sluice gates allowing the River Thames on its way. Benson Lock. One of the lock gates with the Gate Keepers house in the background. This is a delightful place to be.
Benson Lock 1913. Herbert Lott would have seen this Keepers house regularly. A good view of the lock proper. The River Thames split by a lock and a sluice. The view looking back towards Wallingford one and a half miles away with the quiet water of the lock exit and the 'busy' water of the sluice exit. The Thames continues on its way with the sluice well open in times of generous water flow. We walked across the top of the sluice gates and returned to Wallingford on the other side of the Thames.