Category Archives: 2021 Update

Thames Fishing History Book signing

Dr David Solomon will be signing copies of his new book A History of Fish and Fisheries of the River Thames at Thames Tidefest on September 12th. You can come and meet the author and not only will he personally sign your copy of the book, but David is giving a £5 discount to every purchase made at the event. So come along to Strand On The Green on September 12th to get your copy and have a chat with the author.

The book itself describes the fascinating history of fish in the Thames, and the development of fisheries to catch them both for food and sport. It is lavishly illustrated with old engravings, maps and photographs, and contains a wealth of anecdotes and stories that will delight the angler, natural historian, historian and fishery professional alike. The author is both a lifelong angler and a fishery scientist, and he draws on his long experience in these fields for the background and material for this book.

Interesting stories include:-

· the numbers and price of each species of local freshwater fish used to feed Thomas Cranmer, former Archbishop of Canterbury, in the days leading up to his execution in Oxford in 1556 (pike were the most expensive);

· the long history of attempts to re-introduce salmon to the river (it held good numbers until the early 19th century);

· a thriving fishery for roach at London Bridge in the 18th century, and the interesting methods used to catch them;

· huge catches of barbel in Victorian times, made by groundbaiting with thousands of worms;

· the decline of the fishery for eels using traps and weirs

· the man with a lifetime catch of more than 800 Thames trout over 3 lb (including several of more than 10 lb). Details of availability will be found at www.fluvialbooks.com

London Mudlarker Lara Maiklem to hold book signing at this year’s Tidefest

London’s Mudlarker and best selling author, Lara Maiklem, will be at this year’s Tidefest on September 12th leading two foreshore walks and signing copies of her new book ‘A Field Guide to Larking’. This is a brilliant opportunity to meet the author and get your hands on a rare signed edition !

The book itself is a practical, interactive and inspiring guide to ‘larking’ – meaning to get out and about, to explore the world around us and to discover the little treasures hiding in plain sight. In this beautiful field guide, Lara teaches us how to lark for ourselves. There are maps and charts, tips and lists, and colour illustrations throughout to help identify finds. From tide tables for mudlarkers to a flint guide for fieldlarkers, this book is richly informative and yet small enough to pop in a pocket. Lara Maiklem has become synonymous with “Mudlarking” along the Thames foreshore and her first book, Mudlarking, was published in 2019 and quickly became a best seller.  

Lara’s two walks are already sold out but she is looking forward to meeting Thames enthusiasts at her book signing at the Strand on the Green Embankment between 12.00 and 1.30pm.

Lara says:

“Tidefest is my favourite river festival,  a proper chance to get hands on with the Thames in a beautiful setting.”

Tidefest is now in its 8th year and celebrates the recreational opportunities available on the River Thames in London withactivities for all the family. These include boats trips, paddle boarding, kayaking, foreshore walks, island visits, London’s biggest angling competition and much more.

Local wildlife organisations, river and environmental groups and community associations have been involved in organising  Tidefest since its inception in 2014. It is part of the month long Totally Thames Festival and is sponsored by Thames Water with support from the London Borough of Hounslow, Port of London Authority and the Environment Agency.

Visitors can enjoy river dipping with experts to discover what lives in the Thames or find some hidden corners with trips to the historic Oliver’s Island or the Eel Pie Island museum – celebrating the 60s music venue which saw the start of the careers of Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones.

Full details including ticket bookings can be found at www.thamestidefest.net and on our Facebook page.

Tidefest Chairman Martin Salter from the Angling Trust said:

Tidefest is now a well-established annual event with a loyal band of followers who turn out every year.  It is an event which aims to help reconnect Londoners with their river and we do this by getting into and onto the water through a whole range of educational and recreational activities. I’m so pleased that Lara Maiklem is joining us once again to give us the benefit of her great knowledge of the history of this wonderful river that has enhanced and sustained our capital city for generations.  Please put September 12th in your diary and visit our website to find out what the River Thames has to offer.”

                                                         Come and Enjoy the River!

A Glorious Thames Cruise for just £12 !

Take a boat trip along the Thames aboard the beautiful Thames Launch “Windrush”. As part of Tidefest 21, The River Thames Society is organising four trips – each an hour long – around the Thames Tideway islands, leaving from Kew Pier . Guided commentary is included.

What better way to enjoy a day “Messing about on the River” and learning more about the historic River Thames. There will be lots going on along the riverbank at Strand On The Green so enjoy a wonderful cruise and then soak up the festival atmosphere or pop into one of the wonderful pubs nearby for a spot of lunch. Places are going fast, so BOOK NOW !

A Wonderful Thames Cruise for just £12 !

Depart from Kew Pier and explore the beauty and history of the River Thames with this amazing cruise aboard the Discoverer as it gently ambles along to Hammersmith. Peter Finch is the Chairman of the Thames Society and will be your guide, commentating on the amazing wildlife and rich history of the river.

Trips will leave Kew Pier at 10.30am, 11.45am, 1.00pm and 2.15pm

There are 12 places available each trip

The Date is set ! September 12th 2021

Tidefest is a celebration of the recreational importance of London’s river and will involve a range of other activities designed to get people out and enjoying what the Thames Tideway has to offer. The groups involved in organising this year’s event include the London Wildlife Trust, Thames Angler’s Conservancy, Thames 21, The River Thames Society, ZSL and the Angling Trust. Other activities planned include foreshore walks, river dipping, seine netting, paddleboarding, sailing, kayaking and historical walks along the Thames Path. As soon as we have more details of the booking procedures for this years event, we will let you know !

Free Fun For Kids

As always there will be a whole host of free and low cost events for all the family. As soon as we have more information about this years event you will find it right here ! In the mean time take a look at kids enjoying the day at previous events…

photo credit Anna Kunst

History plays a big part in Tidefest

One of the main themes of Thames Tidefest is celebrating the history London’s magnificent river. We run, exclusive guided tours of amazing places, guided history walks, archaeology events and so much more. We will have full details of the History events that will feature at Tidefest 2021 soon, but until then here’s a look at some amazing pictures form past events.

Lara Maiklem signs copies of her best selling Mudlarking book at Thames Tidefest
History in Practice at the London Museum of Water & Steam