Thames Tidefest ’17 events selling out fast !

With just less than a week to go until Thames Tidefest ’17 officially begins, tickets for the various events on offer are being snapped up by eager attendees.

Tickets for the Strand on the Green Foreshore Walk and the Oliver’s Island Adventure have both sold out completely and there are just 3 tickets left (at the time of writing) for the Lea Navigation Reedbed Boat Tour.

Oliver’s Island

However the good news is that there are still limited tickets left for a number of the other amazing events that make up Tidefest ’17.

Windrush Cruise

How do you fancy a cruise on the Thames for just £10 !  The River Thames Society is organising four hour-long boat trips around the Thames Tideway islands, leaving from Kew Pier on the historic Thames launch the “Windrush”. Your skipper will be Ken Dwan, a former Royal Waterman and Queen’s Bargemaster. Guided commentary is included.

Venue: Kew Pier on the Richmond Bank by Kew Bridge. TW9 3AT

Times: Trips leave at 11.00am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm and 2.45pm

Cost: £10 per person

Lots Ait Boatyard Tour – Brentford 

Come and discover Brentford’s best kept secret and learn about the importance of this small island on the Thames. Lots Ait is home to John’s Boat Works, the Two-Lipped Door Snail and a thriving community of boat dwellers. It was also a key location for the film ‘The African Queen’. Meet John and a former apprentice from the original boat yard and hear about Lots Ait’s amazing boat building history. View the ‘Back to the Future’ exhibition curated by Wendy Kloos and learn about its historic past and discover the natural environment of this small island and its wild inhabitants with archaeologists Dr Fiona Haughey and Ynys Crowston-Boaler.

Suitable for accompanied children over 12 yrs.

Venue: Meet at Goat Wharf  (by the gate on 10mins beforehand) adjacent to 41 High Street, Brentford, TW8 0BB

Times: Tours are at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm for groups of up to 20 persons.

Cost: £3 per person

‘Through the porthole – the pleasures, perils and pitfalls of houseboat living on the Thames’

A double-bill presentation from Chiswick Pier Trust and the River Thames Society

Over a thousand people live afloat on the Thames between Teddington Lock and the Thames Barrier.  To the outsider, these floating villages look like an idyllic and affordable alternative to the over-heated London housing market.  Whilst the great views of the river, the sense of community and the closeness of nature are genuine, it’s not always plain sailing.  This double bill, presented as part of TideFest 2017, gives a more realistic view of life on the Thames, including the complicated and unregulated process of buying a houseboat.

1:45pm: ‘Life Afloat’ – Film on the Pleasures and Perils of Houseboat-living on the tidal Thames

Life Afloat is a 55 minute film which delves into the stories of house boat residents and challenges the romantic view of life afloat.  Residents interviewed for the film include actor Imogen Stubbs, who likens living on a boat to ‘living in a whale or a womb’, and artist Denis Postle who describes the experience as ‘like living inside a cello or a double bass’.  The film looks at how tidal life for these communities has changed throughout the decades. Originally a pursuit for bohemians and those with little income, changes have taken place alongside those of London house prices and river-side property development.  The film reflects on these changes and the impact it will have on the future of these floating communities.

Registration and refreshments from 1:30pm.

“Houseboat living” on the thames

3:00pm: ‘Buying a Houseboat on the Thames –  Understanding the Risks and Pitfalls’ – Talk from  Hilary Pereira of the River Thames Society

Buying a houseboat on the Thames is a high-risk venture in an increasingly expensive yet unregulated market. There are many questions to consider and speaker will guide the audience through these, including the differences from buying a flat and provide an illustrated guide to the various pitfalls that can catch out unwary buyers.  Hilary has lived afloat for many years, initially on the canals, but, for the last 40 years, on the Thames where she has also brought up two children on board.  This is a unique opportunity to hear from an experienced Houseboat resident and owner.

Time:   1:30 – 4:00pm

Venue: Pier House, Chiswick Pier Trust, Corney Reach Estate, Chiswick, London W4 2UG

Admission: £3 per event or £5 for both. (no charge for pensioners or under 16s)

Free to Chiswick Pier Trust and River Thames Society members