BBC Countryfile at Hurley

Last Sunday’s Countryfile on BBC1 was trailed as featuring Windsor Great Park and the new rowing course on the opposite side of the Thames.

A surprise inclusion was a piece on Hurley Lock and boat building with additional shots of Temple Lock and Temple Bridge.

The programme, which has wonderful shots of Windsor Castle, can still be seen this week on the BBC iplayer.

See pages 110.

Kemble-Swindon line to be double track

The announcement in today’s Budget Speech that the railway line between Kemble and Swindon is to returned to double track is a surprise.

The government has given in to pressure on this as the line could serve as an alternative when weekend rail works close the main line to the Severn tunnel. But in time this could allow for a better service to and from the Thames source at Kemble.

see page 212-213.

Weekend spring tides

High tides are due in London this weekend.

At London Bridge the high tides are Sat 19 March 1.37pm; Sun 2.23pm; Mon 3.06; Tue 3.47pm.

High tides also mean low tides at other times which makes the shore extra interesting.

Thames Clippers is warning that its services may be disrupted due to available headroom at Blackfriars Bridge. The Rotherhithe Hilton-Canary Wharf Ferry service may also not run to time due to low water conditions.

See page 22

HMS Bulwark at Deptford

HMS Bulwark is moored at Deptford until Monday.

The ship, last on the Thames in 2008, has just undergone at £30m refit and will be taking part in sea training exercises before returning home to Plymouth.

She will shortly take up her role as UK Flag Ship.

See page 18.

Thames Water buys Chambers Wharf

The prospect of the Thames Path being diverted along the front of Chambers Wharf soon has receded following news that Thames Water has purchased the site.

The previous development plan has been abandoned and the site could become a works entry for the proposed Thames Tunnel sewerage scheme.  The good news is that this might leave the downstream King’s Stairs site unaffected.

The eventual plan is for Berkeley Homes to build flats on Chambers Wharf with a provision for a riverside path linking Bermondsey Wall East with Bermondsey Wall West.

Se pages 25-26.

History of Oxford’s Thames flooding

At Oxford the River Thames flowed through the city not as one river but as a number of streams.

It is interesting to see a reference in Fr John Hunwick’s blog on 6 March to Blessed John Henry Newman contributing in 1828 to a fund for “raising the floor-level of S Thomas’s above the flood-level of the Thames”.

So the Thames flooded over a wide area. St Thomas’s Church is near Oxford Station so was this water from Osney or the stream to the east?

See page 171.