A man from Marlow said his local rowing club has "ignored" his pleas to change their schedule after two years of "distress, alarm and invasions of privacy". 

Ken Jolivet, 60, bought a home on Temple Mill Island three years ago after “scrimping and saving” to fulfil his wife’s dream of living next to the Thames after her cancer diagnosis.

Although she was given the all-clear this year, the ex-military man now has health concerns of his own after contracting heart disease. Their riverside home should offer some respite – but, according to Ken, the very opposite is the case.

The 60-year-old said he has been engaged in a stalemate with Marlow Rowing Club since 2022 after its rigorous rowing schedule became yet another source of stress.

Rowers set their “oars swivelling and hitting the water” outside his home as early as 6am “almost every day”, Ken said, before returning at an “uncomfortably close” range to his garden – “you could whisper and they would hear it”.

(Image: Ken Jolivet)

He said he has raised the issue – which also arises in the evening and “disrupts” social events in the garden – with rowing club officials but has seen “no changes” and now feels he is being ignored by the organisation.

“I’m a sportsman myself and I love to see them rowing past, but it’s a matter of etiquette. They’re much too close for comfort and none of my concerns have been addressed. It’s unfriendly and un-neighbourly and it does feel like harassment.

“My wife and I aren’t rich, and we’ve worked our whole lives to get here. A lot of the other people who own homes on Temple Mill are away in warmer climates for most of the year, so it’s beginning to feel a bit hopeless.

(Image: Ken Jolivet)

“I don’t know what else to do – I’m a little shocked by how they’re treating me. Is it really that difficult to stop and turn around at Marlow Sailing Club, around 100 metres east of the island, at least between 10pm and 8am?”

Tonia Nagle, Marlow Rowing Club secretary said: “The Temple Mill/Island Houses were constructed facing directly onto The Thames at a busy intersection by the lock and weir.  It is worth noting that The Thames is a public space and river-route managed by the Environmental Agency, much like our high street and the public and vehicles have rights of way on it. 

“We are on good terms with the residents committee of Temple Island and all the other residents there.  We have had a number of exchanges with Mr Jolivet since he moved to Temple Island. In the spirit of being good neighbours, we have made as many changes to our practices as practicable. Unfortunately, these do not appear to have satisfied Mr Jolivet who has continued to ask for more restrictions on our legitimate use of the river.”