All posts by John Cheyne

Tidefest 2019 Was The Best Ever !

Bigger crowds than ever came out to enjoy the river at this year’s Thames Tidefest held at Strand-on-the-Green in Chiswick and other locations along the Thames Tideway including Richmond, Twickenham, Brentford, Barnes and Kempton.

Local MP Ruth Cadbury joined Hounslow Council Leader Steve Curran and Deputy Mayor Raghwinder Siddhu along with the Mayor of Richmond Nancy Baldwin  at the annual celebration of all the River Thames has to offer.

The organisers estimated attendance at well over two thousand people with many of the advertised events and trips sold out well in advance.

 

There were great activities for all the family including foreshore and photographic walks, angling competition, paddle-boarding, river dipping, kayaking, London Wildlife Trust’s wildlife walk to Syon Park, Kempton nature reserve visits, stalls and displays, circus workshop, bouncy castle, children’s games, live fish tanks, local artists, food, music and generous discounts off admissions to the London Museum of Water and Steam and the Musical Museum. There were special guided tours of Eel Pie Island Museum in Twickenham – the place which helped launch the careers of Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and many others in the 1960s

There were great activities for all the family including an angling competition, river dipping, kayaking, London Wildlife Trust’s wildlife walk to Syon Park, Kempton nature reserve visits, stalls and displays, circus workshop, bouncy castle, children’s games, live fish tanks, local artists, food, music and generous discounts off admissions to the London Museum of Water and Steam and the Musical Museum. There were special guided tours of Eel Pie Island Museum in Twickenham – the place which helped launch the careers of Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and many others in the 1960s
Other activities included:

• Boat trips around the Thames Tideway islands and to Chiswick Pier on the historic Thames launches Windrush and The Discoverer.

• Paddleboarding – supervised taster sessions for newcomers by Active 360 at Kew Bridge plus a guided family paddle trip

• Tour and exhibition on Thames Boatbuilding at the Lot’s Ait boatyard in Brentford – venue for the filming of the African Queen starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn

• Taster sessions for those new to kayaking organised from the Boating Arch at Kew Bridge by Edge Paddling

* Photography and Bird Walks led by local experts and two Foreshore Walks led by the well known ‘London Mudlark’ Lara Maiklem whose new book is proving something of a hit.

Once again plenty of fish were caught both by anglers fishing the annual Tidefest Championship and by fishery officers carrying out seine netting to show the wide variety of species that now live in the Thames in London. The competition winner was RAF instructor Michael Dalziel with an 18lb 8oz bag of skimmers caught on the swimfeeder with worm and maggot. Michael collected £600 in prize money and a handsome silver plate from Angling Trust Ambassador Keith Arthur.

2019 winner Michael Dalziel with Angling Legend Keith Arthur and Martin Salter of Angling Trust

Tidefest is now in its sixth year and aims to highlight the recreational importance of the Thames to Londoners and to encourage people to ‘enjoy the river’. It is part of the month long Totally Thames Festival and is sponsored by Thames Water, Fullers Smith & Turner

TideFest chairman, Martin Salter from the Angling Trust, said:

“We had a great programme of activities this year and were lucky with the weather which saw us  attract our biggest ever Tidefest crowd. It was fabulous to see so many people enjoying the river and all it has to offer. We had a great reaction to the work that many of the Tidefest groups are doing to highlight the importance of the river and once again we are grateful for the excellent support we received from our local MPs, from our sponsors – Thames Water and Fullers and from and Hounslow Council.

Tidefest is all about helping Londoners to ‘reconnect with their river’ and that’s certainly what happened on Sunday.”

Tidefest 2019 Angling Champs Results

Thames Tidefest Angling Championship 2019

40 anglers fished the sixth Thames Tidefest Angling Championship 2019 on the tidal river at Strand on the Green, Chiswick and Barnes foreshores on Sunday September 8th.

 

A low river, cold over night temperatures and bright sunshine delivered tricky fishing conditions and for once the shoals of big bream that have dominated the event in previous years failed to put in an appearance. Whilst the match was a struggle for many there were a good number of decent roach and skimmer bream caught.

The winner was Drennan backed Michael Dalziel with an 18lb 8oz bag of skimmers caught on the feeder with worm and maggot. Michael collected £600 in prize money, courtesy of the sponsors Thames Water, and a handsome silver plate from Angling Trust Ambassador Keith Arthur. In second place was Ritchie Tomala who did well to weigh in 17.08 of roach on feeder and maggot. Both the top two came from the favoured Strand on the Green section. Third place was venue regular Gordon Bullock with a pole caught bag of 10.14 from Barnes.

Tidefest organiser Martin Salter said:

“This was our toughest match yet as the shoals of bigger bream looked to have moved upstream towards the fresher water. However, it was encouraging to see the number of skimmers and roach this far down the stretch. Once the Tideway ‘Super Sewer’ is built the river will be even cleaner I’m sure we will see the fishing improve as a result.”

2019 winner Michael Dalziel with Angling Legend Keith Arthur and Martin Salter of Angling Trust

 Results

1st – Michael Daziel     – 18lb 8oz.  Strand on the Green

2nd – Ritchie Tomala    – 17lb 8oz.  Strand on the Green

3rd  – Gordon Bullock  – 10lb 14oz. Barnes

4th. – Mark Brush         –  8lb 10oz.  Strand on the Green

Sections

Strand on the Green

1 – John Wilkinson (Snr) -2lb 10oz

2 – Stephen Rees            – 3lb

3 – Michael Scanlon       – 4lb 14oz

4 – Steve Edwards          – 4lb

Chiswick

5 – Ali Atlwater               – 5lb 14oz

Barnes

6 – Clive Westwood      – 5lb

7 – Michael Bindloss    – 2lb 4oz

8 – Tony Rice                 – 3lb 2oz

9 – Steve Payne            – 5lb 8oz

 

“Mudlark” Lara will be signing books at Tidefest.

What a few weeks it’s been for “London Mudlark” Lara Maiklem !

Her new book Mudlarking was chosen as Radio 4’s Book of The Week, was featured on Stanley Tucci’s Instagram and has gone straight into the Sunday Times Best Sellers Top 10. She has been a guest on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and BBC Breakfast and just about every radio station that could book her ! Social media loves her, the press are all writing about her and the Thames Tidefest Mudlark Walks  sold out in a day.

But fear not ! you can still meet the woman herself, and buy yourself a signed copy of the book everyone is raving about at Thames Tidefest on September 8th. Lara will be signing books and chatting between 12.30pm and 1.30pm at Strand On The Green. To make the whole thing even more fabulous, we have managed to secure a discount on the cover price, so the books will be priced at £15.99 instead of the RRP of £18.99 ! So come along to the festival get yourself a bargain and get your chance to meet the most famous Mudlark in the world !

Film Screening Set To Show The Amazing History of Thames Boatmen

THE WEEKEND MILLIONAIRES – FILM

Tales from the Thames: An oral history of the Thames Lightermen.

As part of Thames Tidefest 2019 there will be a screening of “The Weekend Millionaires”. On September 8th. This fascinating 45 minute Documentary Film tells of the lives of the Thames Lightermen have operated the boats carrying cargo on the Thames with a history going back hundreds of years.

Listen to some of their stories as they reminisce and see amazing archive film of how the Thames looked in times gone by and about the work they did and how it’s changed.

Tickets cost Just £2 for adults and £1 for under 16’s

The film will be screened in The Babcock Room inside the London Museum of Water & Steam, just round the corner from Strand On The Green where the main Festival is located.

Book yours by clicking the button below

Rare chance to visit an amazing wildlife site

Get the chance to visit a Site of Special Scientific Interest not normally open to the public and take a walk guided by a local wildlife expert.

Kempton Nature Reserve is a 50 acre wetland site, and used to be an operational reservoir. It is now a site of Special Scientific interest for wetland birds such as gadwall and shoveler.

A Gadwall with chicks

Walk the circular paths and uncover the wildlife gems with local wildlife experts. In spring and summer the reserve’s main lake, meadows, ponds and woodlands comes alive with butterflies and dragonflies.

Emperor Dragonfly

You might see swifts, a common sandpiper, little grebe or if you are lucky a kingfisher or a sparrowhawk. Plus pick up some tips from experience birders and spot some wonderful wetland birds from the bird hides at Kempton Nature Reserve in Hampton, not normally open to the general public!

A Beautiful Sandpiper

The walks are FREE and will last 1.5hrs and you will be guided by local experts. Walks will start at 9.30am and 11.30am. To book please email jane.clarke@thameswater.co.uk

Learn how to get the best from your camera !

Always wished you could take better pictures ? Not sure what half the setting on your camera are for ?  Maybe you just want to get the best out of your smartphone camera ? Jon Perry will be leading a fun and informative Photography walk as part of Thames Tidefest that will help you become a better photographer in a fun and relaxed way. With a maximum 8 people on each walk, Jon will have plenty of time to help you improve and get the most from your camera. All this and it only costs £5.00 per person !

For more information and to book your place just click the button below.