RTS AGM at The Angel


Tower Bridge from an upstairs window at The Angel

The River Thames Society‘s central Tideway and Estuary Branch has held its AGM in Rotherhithe.

The meeting on Tuesday, followed by lunch, was at The Angel.

Chair Peter Finch gave a commentary on vessels passing the window which has  panoramic view of Tower Bridge.

The Angel dates from at least 1682 and is the successor to The Salutation belonging to Bermondsey Abbey.


Cargo ship H&S Wisdom sailing under the flag of Netherlands passes The Angel
The Angel at the end of Bermondsey Wall on the edge of Rotherhithe

Wider path planned between Blackfriars Bridges

Looking upstream on the proposed wider path at Blackfriars Bridge east side

The path outside Tate Modern is wide but on reaching Blackfriars Station the way narrows and between Blackfriars Railway Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge foot tunnel it can be a squash.

This has until recently been caused by the footprint of Ludgate House, the former Express Newspapers building, which has just been demolished.

The plans for the new building published this week allow for a much wider Thames Path here.

ITV’s Britain’s Favourite Walks

The Thames Path can b joined in central London and also enjoyed in lonely Oxfordshire

Tonight ITV has a surprise two and a half hour programme on walking.

It’s even on at peak time rather than late at night.

Britain’s Favourite Walks on ITV at 7.30pm features the Top 100.

 “Walking is one of Britain’s best loved pastimes, with around nine million of us enjoying pulling on our hiking boots and heading for the great outdoors every month…,” says presenter Julia Bradbury.
“This could be your next big adventure – you’re going to be blown away.”
We know that Oxford appears in the programme so we can I hope expect the Thames Path to be one of Top 100.
It should as the best known and most accessible path in Britain.

Oxford Diversion: Eastwyke Farm to Folly Bridge Oxford

Starting today Monday 8 January there is a diversion on the approach to Oxford.

When drawing level with the Cherwell and the start of the boathouses on the far bank it is necessary to turn inland.

The turning is at first narrow before widening with a hard surface as the Eastwyke Farm Pathway by the Oxford Spires Hotel.

At Abingdon Road go right along the pavement for half a mile to reach Folly Bridge.

The temporary route is expected to be in place until at least the end of January.


Battersea Power Station: New improved route

Battersea Power Station from Vauxhall

The Christmas holiday has seen a further improvement on the path between Vauxhall and Chelsea Bridge.

The new route does not yet follow the riverside at Battersea Power Station but it does take the walker away from the unpleasant  continuation of Nine Elms Lane known as Battersea Park Road.

ROUTE UPDATE: Vauxhall to Chelsea Bridge
It is now possible to stay by the river between Vauxhall Bridge and Heathwall Pumping Station at Nine Elms. On the way you pass close to the new USA Embassy where there is new seating.

The path turns inland to join Nine Elms Lane opposite Waitrose which had a handy toilet and cafe.

From here go right along the main road for short distance to turn back towards the river, passing between two tall buildings, and join Tideway Walk with its houseboats.

Pass the new glass Nine Elms Tavern (left). Where the path comes up against a wall go inland down Kirtling Street and left into Cringle Street to return to the main road.

Turn right along the busy Battersea Park Road passing the other end of Kirtling Street (right) and the giant Bookers Wholesale (left).

Look out on the right for the gated Pump House Lane.

Pump House Lane gate

Go through the gate and follow the winding Pump House Lane through the Battersea Power Station construction site.

The road rises to run close to the south end of the power station where there is a very good view of the interior.

View from temporary path

Soon the road passes new shops (left) and reaches the river.

Bear left with the new building and restaurants to pass under the upstream Grosvenor Bridge carrying the Victoria railway line.

After a short distance the path is on a new platform as it goes under Chelsea Bridge to enter (beyond current gas pipe works) Battersea Park.

Battersea Power Station construction site
The urban view from the Thames Path at Battersea Power Station

Live Christmas broadcast from Fulham’s riverside church

The familiar All Saints Fulham tower from Putney Bridge

Christmas Morning Service on BBC1 is coming live from All Saints Church in Fulham.

It’s the church with the tower seen among the trees at the north end of Putney Bridge.

Its peal of bells was often rung when Elizabeth I was being rowed up or down the river between London and Richmond Palace.

The church retains a rural backdrop thanks to the once moated  Fulham Palace.

Walkers will also be familiar with St Mary’s Putney at the south end of the bridge where the Thames Path runs round the back.

The broadcast from All Saints starts at 10am.

Nine Elms Bridge opponents grow

US Embassy at Nine Elms

The GMB Southern region which is highlighting opposition to the Nine Elms Bridge plan has called on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to withhold support.

The cycle and foot crossing would cost around £100m according to opponents.

The union statement follows a written reply by Sadiq Khan to a question in the London Assembly.

The unpopular proposed bridge would be opposite the already controversial new US Embassy at Nine Elms.

One issue is how much attractive open water should be covered by new crossings. This was a major objection to the Garden Bridge at Waterloo which failed to win local support.

The GMB claims that the following now oppose the major landscape change at Nine Elms:

Leonie Cooper, London Assembly member for Wandsworth

Tony Devenish, London Assembly member for Westminster

Sian Berry, Green leader London Assembly

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of Lib Dems of London Assembly

Westminster Labour Group

Wandsworth Labour Group

Westminster Conservative Party

Battersea Labour Party

North Battersea Alliance against the Bridge

Pimlico Alliance

Marsha de Cordova, MP for Battersea

Rosena Alin Khan, MP for Tooting

Ibrahim Dogus, former parliamentary candidate for Westminster South

Mark Field, MP for Westminster South

May Morris and the River Thames

May Morris: Art & Life exhibition at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow gives  glimpse of her life by the Thames in London and Oxfordshire.

May was the daughter of William Morris who lived by the river at 8 Hammersmith Terrace in London and upstream at remote Kelmscott near Lechlade.

William founded the Chiswick Press which in 1903 published May’s play White Lies.

Nearby on the river at Chiswick was lived Emery Walker who ran the Kelmscott Press.

May was an active supporter of the Socialist League Hammersmith branch.

But she loved Kelmscott and a long embroidery in the London house featured a view of Kelmscott in middle.

In the country she lived a frugal but self-sufficient life.

A painting shows May in the dining room at Kelmscott Manor as she checks proofs of The Collected Works of William Morris which she spent years editing.

One of the black and white photographs is of May’s funeral at Kelmscott in 1938 when her body was carried on a farm cart.

The May Morris exhibition is at William Morris Gallery, Forest Road, Walthamstow E17 4PP until Sunday 28 January; open Wednesday to Sunday; admission free.

Kelmscott Manor is open in the summer.





Eel Pie Island Open Weekend

Eel Pie Island is home to 26 artists and twice a year, in winter and summer, the studios open their doors to visitors who can purchase or commission new art works.

The next open weekend is Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December 11am to 5pm.

Access is by an old toll bridge from the Twickenham bank.

Tide Tables cafe under Richmond Bridge

Tide Tables Cafe at Richmond is easily missed but is probably the best place to stop.

You find Tide Tables Cafe underneath Richmond Bridge. Walking river thames societupstream you can pass through the tunnel under the bridge. There are two more to the left. One is still a boat builders. The furthest inland is Tide Times Cafe.

It’s open all day with good food. My vegetarian lasagne and salad was £10. On weekdays coffee refills are free.

There is  skiff hanging above the counter and magazines available to read include Thames Guardian.

If you need to keep looking at the river, maybe watching the tide, you can site outside on the downstream side.  Blankets can be borrowed from the basket at the door.


Hollyhock Café: Also run by the same management is Hollyhock Café in nearby Terrace Gardens. It has  good view over the river from its high position.

To find the little rustic building continue upstream along the towpath from Richmond Bridge. When the houses and gardens end, but before Petersham Meadows, look for Grotto Gate low down on the left. A tunnel leads to steps running up to Terrace Gardens.

Hollyhock Café share the same menu as Tide Times.

View of Thames from Hollyhock Cafe veranda

From the Sea to the Source