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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.”



Do you recognise any of these men ?

Do you recognise these men who worked on Lots Ait boatyard 37yrs ago? Is your your dad, an uncle or a neighbour? Tell us their names and any stories you may remember about them’.  We are trying to find out more about the men who worked in the boatyard as we piece together details of the islands fascinating social history

If you can help please get in touch with

Dr Fiona Haughty,   Archaeologist & Archaeological Illustrator,  Director Archaeology on the Thames Project

There is also a chance to visit Lot’s Ait as part of Thames Tidefest ’17 where you will be given a guided tour and find out the fascinating history of the boatyard.  See below

All Photos courtesy of Brian Liddle

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

There will also be an exhibition to be held at Brentford library, Boston Manor Road, TW8 8DW with thanks to Kathleen Samad, James Marshall and Ann Cartwright.

Tidefest Angling Championship Produces Fantastic Results !


32 anglers fished at Barnes and Strand on The Green and despite hot sunny conditions and the presence of over 2000 people enjoying walks, paddleboarding, kayaking, river cruises or simply strolling along the towpath, the bream fed well.


There were three weights of over 30lbs with the winner, Martin Davies landing 46.11 of bream up to 8lbs plus from SoTG. Second with the top weight at Barnes was Ricky Tomala with 32.11 followed by Steve Edwards with 30.09 then Gordon Bullock with 20.8.


All in all it was a fantastic event that not only produced brilliant fishing, but also showcased the joys of fishing the tidal Thames to huge numbers of people.

The top four shared a £1000 pay out.


The event is sponsored by Tideway – formerly Thames Tideway Tunnel – and Thames Water and the match organised by the Angling Trust with support from Will Barnard, Angling development manger at TW

See the highlights of Tidefest ’16 on film !

This years event was definitely the best Tidefest yet, with huge numbers of people getting involved, more events, more fun and lots of sunshine on the beautiful River Thames. Thankfully our friends at Chiswick Buzz were there to record the whole event and they have put together a fantastic video that really captures the joy and atmosphere of the day. Click the link below and have fun watching !

Click the image above to see the video.
Click the image above to see the video.

MP Ruth Cadbury to take to the water at this year’s TideFest

Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury has announced that not only will she will be attending this Tidefest but that she plans to take to the water and have ago at kayaking.

Ruth Cadbury paddle boarding at TideFest 2015
Ruth Cadbury paddle boarding at TideFest 2015

Tidefest is annual event to celebrate the recreational importance of the Thames Tideway to Londoners. It is based at Strand on the Green, Chiswick and other locations along the tideway from 10am to 6pm and is a day packed with loads of great activities for all the family.

There’s paddleboarding, kayaking, river dipping, guided foreshore walks, boat trips, an angling competition, nature reserve visits, artists displays, seine netting, live fish tanks, museum discounts, children’s games, stalls, music, refreshments and much, much more.

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 !

Ruth Cadbury said:

‘ We are so lucky to have the Thames on our doorstep and Tidefest is our opportunity to celebrate all that this means; Sport, nature, a transport route and a beautiful landscape. Kayaking and paddle-boarding are two sports I have been able to learn since being here. They’re fun, easy to pick up and you don’t need to be particularly fit! I look forward to seeing people coming down to try them out at this year’s Tidefest.’

Peter Hughes from Edge Paddling added:

“Kayaking is one of the best ways to enjoy the Thames, and Kew Bridge is one of the very best locations to launch from. Our Club is very social and thrives on an equal mix of men and women. We welcome people of all skill levels, and TideFest is a great opportunity for the public to try a free taster session.”

On the Foreshore at Strand-on-the-Green there will be children’s activities including river dipping, water testing and games designed to explain and increase understanding of what’s going on in the river run by the environmental charity Thames21.

There’s a series of highly informative archaeological tours of Oliver’s Island at Strand-on-the-Green. These fascinating walks will be led by archaeologists Dr Fiona Haughey and Mike Webber. There will also be other foreshore walks and a tour of the historic Lots Ait boatyard at Brentford which is hosting an exhibition of boat building on the Thames. Booking through the website at

Lot's Ait Boatyard
Lot’s Ait Boatyard

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. Guided commentary included. Trips leave at 11.00am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm and 2.45pm but advance booking essential

TideFest organiser Martin Salter from the Angling Trust said:

“TideFest is now an established annual event that is growing in popularity and which aims to help reconnect Londoners with their river. The Thames holds over 120 different species of fish and is home to a tremendous array of birds and other wildlife yet far too few people are aware of what an amazing resource we have in the heart of our capital city.”

Martin Salter at last year Tidefest
Martin Salter at last year Tidefest

TideFest is supported by the Thames Tunnel Now Coalition with sponsorship from Tideway, Fullers and Thames Water. All activities are either free or offered at a substantially reduced rate




More info:

Check website or Facebook page at  or  for more information.


Martin Salter – (Angling Trust and organizer) 07976946033

Ian Tokelove  – (London Wildlife Trust) 07834867420

Peter Hughes – (Edge Paddling) 07900 895237

Picture:  Ruth Cadbury MP Paddleboarding on the Thames at last year’s TideFest

Photocall: 12 noon Sunday Sept 11th with Ruth Cadbury MP Kayaking from Kew Bridge with Edge Paddling


Tidefest partners: Active 360, Angling Trust, Brentford FC Community Sports Trusts,  Edge Paddling, Get Hooked on Fishing, London Wildlife Trust, River Thames Society, RSPB, Strand on the Green Assoc, Strand on the Green Sailing Club, Thames 21, Thames Tunnel Now, Thames Anglers Conservancy, Totally Thames, Port of London Authority.