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Big crowds come out to enjoy the river at this year’s Tidefest

Big crowds come out to enjoy the river at this year’s Tidefest
 
In glorious sunshine the tidal Thames was at its stunning best this Sunday for the fifth Tidefest held at Strand-on-the-Green in Chiswick and other locations along the Thames Tideway including Richmond, Twickenham, Brentford, Barnes and Deptford.
photo credit Anna Kunst
 
Local MPs Ruth Cadbury and Rupa Huq joined Hounslow Council Leader Steve Curran and Mayor Samia Chaudhary at the annual celebration of all the River Thames has to offer. Over two thousand people visited the stalls and took part of the host of activities on offer. There were great activities for all the family including foreshore and photographic walks, angling competition, paddle-boarding, river dipping, kayaking, London Wildlife Trust’s Dragonfly Detectives, 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. A new event this year is a special guided tour 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
photo credit Anna Kunst
 
There was lots on offer for boating enthusiasts including:
 
  • Boat trips around the Thames Tideway islands from Kew Pier on the historic Thames launch the Windrush
  • Paddleboarding – 50 minute supervised sessions by Active 360 at Kew Bridge from 9.30am plus a 3 hr Eco tour and lesson  to Chiswick Island and back.
  • 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
  • Generous discounts for rowing boat hire at Richmond Bridge with a Tidefest voucher
  • Taster sessions for those new to kayaking organised from the Boating Arch at Kew Bridge by Edge Paddling.
 
Tidefest 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 and Tideway, the company delivering the new Thames Tideway Tunnel to clean up the river.
 
Thames Action on Plastics 
 
This year’s Tidefest included a programme to show the damage single use plastic is doing to our great and historic river with:
 
  • A Paddle and Pick with  local paddleboarders  clearing plastic waste from river trees
  • A Thames Action on Plastics stall  in Kew Bridge Piazza promoting  In The Drink – a scheme to encourage pubs to switch from single use plastic cups 
  • Talks by Carolyn Newton and Carlos De Souza who created a paddleboard made from plastic bottles and went off to complete 12 marathons in 12 countries to draw attention to marine plastic pollution
  • An opportunity to meet Dhruv Boruah and his amazing bicycle – a man on a mission to reduce single use plastic and the damage it causes to marine life.  in 2017 he pedalled his floating water-bike, with a bamboo frame from the source of the Thames to Teddington. 
  • A special visit from  ‘Slurper the plastic straw monster’ who is part of the campaign by the Marine Conservation Society.

   

photo credit Anna Kunst
TideFest organiser,  Martin Salter from the Angling Trust, said:
 
“We were blessed with fabulous weather and big crowds for this year’s TideFest. It was good to see so many people enjoying the river and taking an interest in the fish and wildlife that live there. Once again we caught baby sea bass and flounder in the seine nets by Kew Bridge which shows what an important nursery area the Thames Estuary has become. We had a great reaction to the work that many of the Tidefest groups are doing to highlight the menace of plastic pollution 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.”
photo credit Anna Kunst

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

fiona_haughey@yahoo.co.uk

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.

We’ll be back next year !

Thames Tidefest 2018 is over for this year.

Tidefest will be back next year, so keep your eyes open for updates as we plan for Tidefest 2019 !

In the meantime, here are just some of the events we had at the 2018 event.

BOAT TRIPS & CRUISES

River Lea Heritage Cruise from Cody

Enjoy an amazing Heritage cruise on the River Lea

Join the Gasworks Dock Partnership’s Heritage Cruise on a 2 hour tour to explore the rich industrial and waterways history of London’s River Lea. There will also be an exhibition in the Gasworks Gallery focusing on the River Lea and the Gardens and Cody Dock Cafe will be open as well.

FULL DETAILS & BOOKING


Thames Cruise on the Windrush 

All aboard the Windrush for a magical Thames Cruise !

Take a boat trip along the Thames. 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 is included.

FULL DETAILS & BOOKING


A guided boat trip and visit to Chiswick Pier and back aboard the Thames Discoverer.

The beauty of the River Thames and the knowledge of Peter Finch..what a great trip !

Join Peter Finch – chairman of the River Thames Society, and an authority on the river, on guided river cruise aboard the magnificent Thames Discoverer. Peter will point out local landmarks throughout the trip.

At Chiswick Pier, you will see and hear about the work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, their boat and the equipment they use. The RNLI at Chiswick is a working lifeboat Station. If they have to respond to an emergency on the day, and are not available, then Peter will take you on a short walk to explore the delights of old historic Chiswick. The round trip will last just over an hour and is suitable for all ages.

FULL DETAILS & BOOKING


Guided Walks, Tours & Adventures

Oliver’s Island Adventure

Oliver’s Island

Come on a visit to this special place on the Thames – Oliver’s island at Strand on the Green – and hear about the long history and its current environmental importance.  You will get to this secret island by kayak (provided) with kind permission of the PLA, who own the island, we are able to offer places for a limited number of visitors to this normally ‘out of bounds’ site for a series of archaeologist-led tours by Dr Fiona Haughey.

FULL DETAILS & BOOKING


Talk & Walk at the Eel Pie Island Museum.

walk in the footsteps of Jagger and Clapton

A 20-minute guided tour of the Museum which helped launch the careers of Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and many others in the 1960s, followed by an illustrated Walk along the Embankment using archive photos to compare then and now. Participants are then welcome to come back to the museum to peruse the exhibits. This ticket will entitle you to membership and free access to the museum for one year and an Eel Pie Passport

FULL DETAILS & BOOKING


Strand on the Green Foreshore Walk

Come and explore the Thames foreshore at Strand-on-the-Green with Lara Maiklem (aka London Mudlark) where you can find evidence of the ancient past right up to the recent present underneath your feet! Uncovered twice a day, the dynamic inter-tidal zone reveals its secrets so come and look for this ‘treasure’ before it erodes away.

FULL DETAILS & BOOKING


Historic Boatyard Tour – Lots Ait

Lot’s Ait Boatyard

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.

FULL DETAILS & BOOKING


Low Tide River Wade in Deptford Creek

Join us for 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 our conservationist with 30 years’ experience, we guarantee you some good, clean, muddy fun! The expeditions lasts about two hours. Participants need to be reasonably fit as you will be walking on the bed of a wild river. We provide waders, a waterproof and a walking stick and suggest you wear old clothes. Advance booking is essential.

Time: 10am-12pm

Meeting point: Creekside Discovery Centre, 14 Creekside, Deptford, SE8 4SA

Tickets: £12 adults, £10 seniors/students, £8 children Booking Details: BOOK HERE

Paddlesports

Kayaking and Canoeing with Edge Progressive Paddling

Edge Progressive Paddling are a membership club run by volunteers for the local community who will be organising a set of multi boat paddling sessions on the Thames near Kew Bridge. They have many types of boat and vessels and their qualified and experienced Level 1 and Level 2 coaches will make sure you get the right one for your session! Sessions will last for 45 minutes, catering for both individuals and families. Wear light clothing and old pair of trainers or shoes. Please arrive 15 minutes early to get kitted up with bouyancy aids and paddles.

There’s a dry bag to put your small possessions and we have changing rooms on site.

Venue: Kew Bridge Arch, Strand on the Green.

Times: 10am – 5pm

Ages 7+

Cost: FREE

Bookings. Just turn up on the day !

Stand Up Paddleboarding

SUP specialists Active 360 will be running pre-booked 50 minute supervised sessions at Kew Bridge from 9.30am for those new to paddleboarding, although all those under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. Lots of other events too.

Cost: £8 adults £4 under 18s (with parent)

Foreshore clean-up

9.00 – 10.00am. A £5 Paddle and Pick event including a short SUP lesson

Red Dragon Racing

3/4 people per board races between railway bridge and Kew Bridge for 16 people

Cost: £8

Paddleboard Trips

3 hr Eco tour and lesson 13.15-15.15pm. Chiswick Island and back.

Cost: £40

3 hr SUP trip and lesson 13.15-15.15pm.

Cost £40

2 hr Trip and lesson downriver to Barnes and back 14.00-16.00.

Cost: £30

Building the Thames Garbage Patch

Reusing plastic collected from the Thames for SUP building workshops. Followed by a race with boards made from waste plastic bottles to highlight the scourge of plastic pollution.

Cost: Free

Bookings Bookings: via Active 360 website

Contact: 020 3393 5360

Kayaking and Canoeing with Edge Progressive Paddling

Edge Progressive Paddling are a membership club run by volunteers for the local community who will be organising a set of multi boat paddling sessions on the Thames near Kew Bridge. They have many types of boat and vessels and their qualified and experienced Level 1 and Level 2 coaches will make sure you get the right one for your session! Sessions will last for 45 minutes, catering for both individuals and families. Wear light clothing and old pair of trainers or shoes. Please arrive 15 minutes early to get kitted up with bouyancy aids and paddles.

There’s a dry bag to put your small possessions and we have changing rooms on site.

Venue: Kew Bridge Arch, Strand on the Green.

Times: 10am – 5pm

Age: 7+

Cost: FREE

Bookings. Just turn up on the day !


Hogsmill Nature Reserve

Hogsmill Nature Reserve

Thames water are opening up their Hogsmill Nature Reserve at Surbiton for Tidefest. Come and along and enjoy:

* Bird watching with Surbiton District Bird Watching Society

* Meeting the Environment Trust volunteers from Berrylands Reserve

* Learning glass bee hive with Kingston Beekeeping Association

* Mosaic making with Swallow Mosaics

* Arts and Crafts & Face Painting

* Pond dipping

Venue: Surbiton Lagoon, Lower Marsh Lane KT1 3BW

Timings: 11am -3pm

Cost: FREE

Bookings: No need to book


Community Activities and Stalls at Strand on the Green

A whole range of free, family-friendly activities and displays will be available at the Strand-on-the-Green. Marquees on the riverside embankment will host displays on the Thames Tideway Tunnel, children’s activities and games, stalls run by river and environmental groups. The London Wildlife Trust will be there to talk about the capital’s wildlife and to sign up Dragonfly Detectives as part of an exciting new project to survey the capital’s rivers and ponds. There will be a charity stall run by WaterAid as well as live music, ice creams, refreshments and lots of information to take away.

Venue: Strand on the Green Embankment W4 3RE

Times: 10am to 5pm


Thames Water Marquee

Thames Water are organising some fun, interactive, craft activities to help you learn about the biodiversity of the river and why we need to protect it. They will be handing out freebies to help you to save water, energy and money, along with an opportunity to take part in the Network Challenge where you get to design your own water system.

Venue: Strand on the Green Embankment W4 3R


Foreshore Activities – River Dipping and Seine Netting

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. Alongside this will be seine netting supervised by ZSL and the Institute of Fisheries management to show you what lives in the Thames. The Environment Agency will have a fish tank displaying live fish from the river.

Venue: Strand on the Green Embankment W4 3RE

Times: River Dipping from 11am. Seine netting 1pm to 4pm

Cost: Free to all but bring your wellies


MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) Time Truck

The new MOLA Time Truck will be parked up next to Kew Bridge and hosting a rolling drop in demonstration of the Thames Water sponsored Cleaning up History education programme. This innovative activity includes hands on education around London’s sewers combined with the thrill of archaeological discovery. There will also be an opportunity to learn more about the Time Truck, MOLA’s ambitious outreach plans, and Thames Water’s education programme.

Venue: Kew Road (west of Kew bridge) W4 3NG

Times: 10am to 5pm

Booking: Just turn up

Cost: FREE OF CHARGE


Local Artists Tent

Steph Curtis-Raleigh will be joined by other local artists to celebrate art and the river. For a third year, there will be a river painting which is free for everyone to contribute to – young or old. The river will ‘flow’ during the day to be unveiled in all its glory at the end of Tidefest.

All visitors will have access to paper, paints, glitter, glue and other goodies to express themselves. We will run a competition and email a voucher to the best drawing of the day. This will allow us to use social media to post pictures of the paintings and to announce the winning one etc

Venue: Strand on the Green Embankment W4 3RE


Music at Tidefest

Duffy and Bird will be playing two sets in the Kew bridge Piazza to entertain visitors.

Their music features Al Bird on guitar and Tricia Duffy on vocals. 2 birds, 1 capo. Unique twists and interpretations of great tunes. Rock, pop, country and a bit of jazz.

12-3pm

Venue: Kew Bridge Piazza

Building the Thames Garbage Patch

Reusing plastic collected from the Thames for SUP building workshops. Followed by a race with boards made from waste plastic bottles to highlight the scourge of plastic pollution.

Cost: Free

Bookings Bookings: via Active 360 website

Contact: 020 3393 5360


Meet ‘Slurper’ the plastic straw monster at Strand on the Green

At Tidefest we all want to see a reduction in single use plastic so as part of the campaign to stop the plastic tide we have linked up with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and are challenging people to refuse plastic straws and help to persuade businesses to stop handing them out. Check out the last straw challenge at https://www.mcsuk.org/clean-seas/straws

MCS beach clean volunteers find thousands of plastic drinking straws around UK coasts annually, and millions of people have seen film footage of the harm they do to wildlife such as marine turtles.

People can also get involved with The MCS plastic challenge #GOplasticfree

Come along and show your support and have a photo with Slurper to share with your friends.

TIMES: 11am – 3pm

Venue: strand on the Green Foreshore

Bring boots or sturdy shoes

TideFest Discounts at London Museum of Water & Steam

London Museum of Water & Steam is home to magnificent collection of steam pumping engines.
Based at the historic Kew Bridge Waterworks, the London Museum of Water & Steam tells the story of London’s water supply, the site, its people and the water pumping engines that helped make London the city it is today. This great independent museum by Kew Bridge is offering a special TideFest package where all kids under 15 years get in free of charge and adults receive a special £8.00 rate by quoting TideFest or presenting a TideFest programme.
 

Venue: Green Dragon Lane, Brentford, TW8 0EN

Times: 10am to 4pm

Cost: £8 adults, kids under 15 free

Contact: 020 8568 4757 or www.waternadsteam.org.uk


Richmond Row Boats – TideFest Discounts

Fancy something a little more energetic? Our friends at Richmond Bridge Boat Hire are offering £5 per person off the hire of their extensive fleet of rowing boats in exchange for a discount voucher . Check out their website at www.richmondbridgeboathouses.co.uk

This generous offer is restricted to one voucher person with a limit of 100 people in total. Each boat must contain at least one adult.

Just order a voucher above and print it off and bring it to the boathouse at Richmond Bridge

Times: Rowing boat hire from 10am to 7pm

Venue: Richmond Bridge Boat Hire, Bridge Boathouses, Richmond upon Thames,

Surrey. TW9 1TH

DISCOUNT VOUCHER CLICK HERE

Tidefest Angling Championship Produces Fantastic Results !

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The top four shared a £1000 pay out.

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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.