Category Archives: 2017 Update

Weather fails to dampen spirits at this year’s Tidefest

Despite some indifferent weather this year’s Tidefest on Sunday September 10th proved a hit with local people with many events selling out in advance including the foreshore walk at Strand on the Green and the ever popular trips to Oliver’s Island and on the historic Thames launch the Windrush.

Cruises on “The Windrush” were popular as always.

50 anglers took part in the Tidefest Angling Championship which saw some good weights of bream taken from Strand on the Green with the winner Mike Smith landing over 28lbs from his peg beside Kew Railway bridge. A small barbel was landed at Chiswick and most competitors caught several eels which is a good sign to see them returning to the river. Once again the seine netting produced a number of baby bass which shows what an important nursery area the Thames has become for this popular species.

There were some terrific Bream caught during the Tidefest Angling Championship

Paddleboarding specialists Active 360 ran pre-booked 50 minute supervised sessions for those new to paddleboarding and a ‘Paddle and Pick’ clean-up of Kew Bridge Drawdock in support of the environmental charity Watertrek UK who work to protect waterways around London, and elsewhere, from plastic pollution.

Young and old alike loved the paddleboarding

As usual Thames 21 organised river dipping on the foreshore and this year we welcomed Wallace the Wet Wipe Monster to highlight the campaign against plastic pollution being run by our friends at the Marine Conservation Society.

Wallace The Wet Wipe Monster can be seen in the background !

For the first time this year activities took place at on Kew Bridge Piazza next to the One Over the Ait pub which also hosted the Thames Water stakeholder reception attended by local organisations, Hounslow councillors and Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury. These included live music from Duffy and Bird and a demonstration of a Victorian Fire Engine showing how they put out fires in London 150 years ago with the original appliances plus actors in period costume from the London Museum of Water and Steam.

The One Over The Ait Pub

The Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) Time Truck hosted a rolling drop in demonstration of the Thames Water sponsored Cleaning up History education programme. This innovative activity included hands on education around London’s sewers combined with the thrill of archaeological discovery. There was also be live music, arts and crafts, charity stalls and children’s games.

The Time Truck

TideFest 2017 programmes included events at Richmond, Chiswick Pier, Brentford, Barnes, Deptford, Hackney, Beckton, and other locations along the Thames Tideway. The festival is now an established River Thames event which aims to highlight the recreational importance of the Thames to Londoners and encourage people to ‘enjoy the river’. It is part of the month long Totally Thames Festival and is sponsored by Thames Water and Tideway.

TideFest is organised by a coalition of organisations led by the Angling Trust, River Thames Society, and London Wildlife Trust.

TideFest organiser, Martin Salter from the Angling Trust, said: “We are really pleased with the growing popularity of TideFest which is now in its fourth year with a host of new attractions including film shows, talks, live music, river walks and nature reserve visits. It is now firmly established in the Thames calendar and will continue grow with the generous support of our sponsors.”



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

What’s New For Tidefest ’17


Each year TideFest gets bigger and better. Although we are based at Kew Bridge we want people to enjoy and learn about as many of the wonders of Thames Tideway as possible. As well as our usual river based events we’ve lined up these additions to the programme:

Low Tide River Wade in Deptford Creek

A guided adventure in Deptford Creek for adults and accompanied children ages 9+. Wade in a wild river and experience a different perspective of London history and urban wildlife. Led by an experienced conservationist we guarantee you some good, clean, muddy fun!

 Lea Navigation Reedbed Boat Tours

Thames21 has been working to improve the River Lea for the last five years, to provide new reedbeds and great habitat for wildlife. Join them on board the ‘Alfred Le Roy’ for a relaxed trip on the river with commentary from their knowledgeable project officers.

A Plastic Ocean – Film Screening

Watch a new adventure documentary that brings to light the consequences of our global disposable lifestyle. An international team go on a mission around the globe to uncover the shocking truth about what is lurking beneath the surface of our seemingly pristine seas. Watch the trailer below.

See the Tidefest ’17 Preview Video

Thames TideFest will be back in Chiswick for its fourth year on Sunday 10th September 2017. This hugely popular community event requires months of planning and co-ordination between charities, businesses and Thames boroughs. The team at Chiswick Buzz caught up with the organisers during their meeting at One Over The Ait pub to find out what the festival has to offer this year.


For more about Thames Tidefest and the events that will make 10th September so special click HERE


2016 Tidefest was awesome…2017 will be the best yet !

 If you didn’t manage to get to Tidefest 2016 you really missed out because last years event was simply awesome !


Paddle boarding, canoeing, fishing, sailing, trips to secret islands, guided walks, nature reserve tours, boats trips and so much more packed the day with fun and excitement for more visitors than ever before.

No experience required ! Tidesfest provides an amazing opportunity for complete novices to find themselves afloat on the tidal Thames !
No experience required ! Tidesfest provides an amazing opportunity for complete novices to find themselves afloat on the tidal Thames !

TideFest is now a key date in the London diary and has become a wonderful celebration of the fascinating tidal River Thames. The event which took place for the first time in 2014 highlights the recreational importance of the Thames to Londoners. TideFest 2017 will take place on Sunday September 10th at Strand on the Green, Chiswick and at other locations along the Thames Tideway so get it in your diary NOW !

Tidefest is for everyone..make sure you get along to our 2016 event.
Tidefest is for everyone..make sure you get along to our 2016 event.

TideFest is proud to be a partner of Totally Thames and to be supported by the Thames Tunnel Now Coalition, Thames Tideway Tunnel and Thames Water.

An even wider range of activities are currently being planned for Tidefest 2017 so keep checking back for news !