The 2024 Blessing the River from London Bridge will be on Sunday 14 January at 12.15pm.
This year’s slightly later date is due to The Epiphany (6 January) falling at a weekend resulting in church calendars moving ‘Twelfth Night’ on a day to Sunday 7 January. This displaced the Baptism of Christ Sunday which is the usual blessing of river day.
The Great Globe made at Greenwich and now at Durlston Head in Dorset has been steamed cleaned for the first time.
The cleaning of the Portland stone carving was undertaken by stonemason Ian Viney.
Pictures of the Great Globe looking as new as when it stood by the Thames in 1887 have been published by Swanage News.
The large stone globe, ten feet in diameter, was the idea of stone merchant George Burt of Swanage whose London base was Granite Wharf on the Greenwich Peninsula. Purbeck stone, which had been loaded at Swanage, was unloaded on Granite Wharf.
The fifteen segment globe would have been welcome ballast for a return journey.
Earlier Burt’s uncle George Mowlem, who was also from Swanage, built many of London’s Victorian buildings with the stone.
Granite Wharf on Greenwich Peninsula was recently replaced by flats but a plaque on the Thames Path recalls the many spare stones which 0nce formed a boundary wall.
Durlston is near Swanage and the Great Globe is displayed below Durlston Castle which in summer has been likened to the Amalfi coastline.
The Waverley paddle steamer has arrived at Swanage on her way to London.
She will be coming up the River Thames on Saturday evening 23 September.
An unexpected easterly wind prevented a planned berthing at Poole Quay last night but today in perfect weather the steamer moored at Swanage Pier.
There she was opposite the Wellington Tower which used to stand in the middle of the road on the south end of London Bridge.
Later this month the Waverley will turn immediately downstream of London Bridge.
The tower was originally a clock tower but when moved to Swanage in 1867 it arrived without its clock. The spire was lost in 1904.
Transportation from the capital was untaken by George Burt who shipped Purbeck stone from Swanage to Granite Wharf on the Greenwich Peninsula. For return trips he needed ballast and the dismantled Wellington Tower, which had proved unpopular with increased horse-drawn traffic on the bridge, was ideal.
Tuesday 4 July is the 400th anniversary of the death of composer William Byrd.
His music is often heard in churches today and will be at Westminster Cathedral on his anniversary but both its survival and his are remarkable since he was very sympathetic to Roman Catholics.
It was fortunate that Queen Elizabeth appreciated his work and liked music in church more than some of her zealous Protestant subjects.
In 1586 William Byrd joined a secret gathering at Harleyford Manor on the Thames opposite Hurley.
Today’s mansion is 18th-century but it was in the earlier house that he attended the Catholic spiritual retreat where his music was performed liturgically thanks to the house having an organ and a volunteer choir of women.
Those present included the now saint Robert Southwell, Shakespeare’s schoolfriend Robert Dibdale and future Gunpowder plot suspect Henry Garnett.