Marlow Museum: Thames exhibition

Marlow’s River: How the Thames shaped our town is the title of a small exhibition at Marlow Museum.

This can be found in Pound Lane opposite Burgers in the High Street.

The exhibition continues until October; open weekends and bank holidays 1-5pm; free.

Meanwhile the Tourist Information Centre has moved into the Library in Institute Road; open Tue-Sat.

HMS Stork remembered at Ravilious exhibition

The Ravilious exhibition of 80 watercolours Dulwich Picture Gallery has just two featuring the Thames but both are very interesting.

In 1931 young Eric Ravilious and his wife Tirzah moved into a riverside flat at Hammersmith. The view was of the Thames with Chiswick Eyot directly opposite. It was this view which Eric painted in 1933. The houses have small riverside gardens separated from by the road which in the Thirties was quiet since the residences were not fashionable and were largely occupied by artists.

River Thames at Hammersmith 1933
River Thames at Hammersmith 1933

In River Thames at Hammersmith 1933 the towpath bank opposite looks even more rural than today.

But the most arresting of the two Thames pictures is one called The Stork at Hammersmith 1932.

The Stork was not a pub but fifty year old HMS Stork which was anchored in the river upstream of Hammersmith Bridge to serve as a training ship for boys interested in a Naval career.

It had been a landmark since squeezing under Hammersmith Bridge in 1913 and remained a gently moving landmark until 1950. Its arrival was not welcomed but its loss was like the Pool of London having to say farewell to HMS Belfast.

The Stork at Hammersmith 1932
The Stork at Hammersmith 1932

Among items on show is a letter addressed to fellow student Helen Binyon at ‘Streatley Berks’. This suggests more Thames associations but, although this is Streatley opposite Goring, the farmhouse is some way from the River Thames.

Ravilious is at Dulwich Picture Gallery until Bank Holiday Monday 31 August; open Tue-Sun admission £12.50 (OAP £11.50; student £6).

Garden Bridge judicial review appeal

Many reasons have been put forward for thinking again about building the Garden Bridge across the River Thames.

The crossing would link the South Bank, near the Oxo Tower, with Temple in the City of London.

The huge and unexpected cost to the public purse as well as the need to fell trees to build a bridge carrying trees are just some of the problems raised.

Above all  there is the question of whether the fine natural stretch of water at Kings Reach should be spoilt by a new structure.

The decision by Lambeth Council to allow the bridge to be built is being challenged in the High Court.

The bill for the appeal will be around £24,000 and so far a quarter has been raised.

“If all the thousands of people who have signed petitions against the bridge gave a few pounds I would have all the costs covered,” says Waterloo Community Development Group director Michael Ball who successfully requested the judicial review.

A number of people have given £5 just to be part of the effort.

You can donate online here.

The background and views can be read in The Independent, The ObserverDaily Mail and The Times.