Dr Salter back on Bermondsey riverside with Ada

Dr Alfred Salter

Dr Alfred Salter

Ada Salter

Ada Salter

Joyce Salter

Joyce Salter

The surviving cat

The surviving cat

The statues of Dr Alfred Salter, his wife Ada and their daughter Joyce can now be seen on Bermondsey Wall East.

Three years ago Dr Salter was stolen leaving his daughter and the family cat by the river wall.

The original artist Diane Gorvin has recreated the statue and  added his wife to the group.

Ada was Bermondsey’s first woman mayor and, according to Southwark Council Leader Peter John, her statue is the first of a female politician in London.

Dr Salter was the local MP and medical doctor.

A report of the unveiling is on the SE16 website.

The Salter family statues can be found next to The Angel pub.

Garden Bridge decision due

The unimpeded view from Blackfriars Bridge

The unimpeded view from Blackfriars Bridge

On Tuesday evening 11 November Lambeth planning committee will consider the application to build the Garden Bridge.

A lot of people, including London Assembly member for Lambeth & Southwark Val Shawcross, have lodged objections.

When bridge supporters addressed the South Bank Forum earlier this year there were many doubters in the hall.

‘Why spoil the world famous view from Waterloo Bridge of St Paul’s?’ was just one question from a local resident.

But there was consternation at the proposers’ claim that the bridge would bring regeneration and increase tourism to the South Bank.

Many think that there has been too much regeneration and there are too many visitors. The nearby Tate Modern is the most visited museum in Europe.

The Corporation of London’s planning committee has received a report confirming that the view of St Paul’s Cathedral from the South Bank’s riverside path would be lost.

The north bank falls under the City of Westminster which will also have to consider the proposal.

The Millennium Bridge was controversial but won approval for being minimilist and so not blocking any views.

The Garden Bridge, to be partly funded by on site private parties, will not be open to the public 24 hours.

A wide expanse of water is an important element which should not be lost without careful consideration.

Eel Pie Island winter open weekend

Eel Pie Island has announced that its annual December open days will be over the weekend Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 December;  10.30am-5.30pm.

Lots of crafts will be for sale including pottery, cartoons, paintings, prints and jewellery.

The island is accessed by footbridge from the Twickenham bank.

It will, as now, be full moon with dramatic tides. The high tides are due in the afternoon and may reach the footbridge. Some Wellingtons will be available to borrow but best to bring your own.

Deptford Creek: Swing bridge in place

Depford Swing

The swing bridge at the mouth of Deptford Creek is in place on the Greenwich bank.

The landing on the Deptford side will be in front of Munure’s Turkish cafe which has tables outside.

Installation work continues on both sides.

Binsey: The Perch to close for three months

Drop for a drink at The Perch if you are next on the Oxford’s Port Meadow towpath before Christmas.

The 17th-century thatched pub is going to close in the New Year and not reopen until Easter.

It has had lots of unexpected setbacks including being badly damaged by fire in 1977 and 2007. Earlier this year it was flooded.

But this is a planned closure.

“Although there will be a bigger dining area, people will still be free to sit by the fire with a pie and a pint,” says manager Martin Cooper.

Kemble line upgrade

The Princess Royal at Kemble Station

The Princess Royal at Kemble Station

The Princess Royal has officially opened the newly redoubled railway line from Kemble to Swindon.

This is an important transport link for those who will arrive at the station having completed the walk from London. The station is very handy for the Thames Source but in recent years many have had a long wait in the lovely station.

On Friday Her Royal Highness arrived at Kemble on a train at the early hour of 9am. There was plenty of Network Rail and First Great Western staff on the platform to greet the Princess and her husband Sir Tim Laurence.

“Now that work on the line is complete, passengers can look forward to fewer delays and reduced journey times in the future,” said Network Rail’s Western Route managing director Patrick Hallgate.

First Great Western’s managing director Mark Hopwood said: “This improvement work to the network infrastructure paves the way for faster, more reliable services.”

The project cost £45m.

Grand Designs: Marlow’s floating house

The latest Grand Designs on Channel 4 sees Kevin McCloud visit Marlow where a couple are struggling to build the first floating house by the River Thames.

The location is the lock island reached only by a footbridge .

The site faces south so the new building, replacing a single storey house, is not seen from the Thames Path which here is on the left bank and turning inland to avoid the lock ahead.

Marlow experienced severe flooding this year. Next time the house should rise with the water level.

The prototype being considered downstream at flood-hit Bourne End.



Ray Mears explores Thames Path on ITV

Wilderness Walks with Ray Mears on ITV tonight sees Ray Mears exploring the River Thames.

Using a canoe, he visits Chimney Meadows and Hartslock Woods on his way downstream.


Wilderness Walks with Ray Mears: ITV Tuesday 14 October at 7.30pm.


Magna Carta Island sold to Chinese

Richard Morrison writing in The Times today says that Magna Carta Island has this week been sold to a Chinese family .

The price is believed to be £3.95m.

The Thames island lies alongside Runnymede which has the Magna Carta monument. However, it is thought that the charter was probably sealed on the island with refreshments for the King and barons being provided by the convent on the Wraysbury bank.

The Queen has visited Magna Carta Island which has a house complete with a charter room.

Plans are being made to mark Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary on the banks of the River Thames next year.

George Clooney in Sonning

It appears that George Clooney and new wife Amal Alamuddin may have purchased Aberlash House on a Thames island at Sonning near Reading.

The 17th-century Aberlash House is usually known as Mill House because it was the home of the mill owner. Just before the First World War it was bought by Godfrey Phillimore, son of the international jurist Lord Phillimore. Later the family briefly worked the downstream mill at Shiplake.

Sonning Mill supplied flour for Huntley & Palmers at Reading.

The Bull Inn, where George Clooney was seen last Saturday, was originally a pilgrim lodging for those visiting the church which had the relics of St Sarik.

The Mill House is glimpsed, and let’s hope it will continue to be, from the towpath between the bridge and the lock.

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