NEWS FROM ON AND AROUND
RIVER THAMES

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July 12th 2020

Although the Imperial War Museum will open on August 1st, HMS Belfast will remain closed.

In a statement IWM says ' HMS Belfast is a unique space which is mostly unaltered since its operational days. Access to most of the ship is via ladders, very narrow corridors, and through small rooms. After careful consideration, we decided it would not be possible to allow access to the ship in a safe and socially distanced way, given the current government advice. We will assess this regularly and we hope to be able to open HMS Belfast before too long'.

RTS has learned that vital maintenance workwill be carried out in this period oof extended closure.                                   

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July 10th 2020

RTS Chairman Peter Finch asks for your support to assist Mark Towens, PLA Harbour Master for the Upper Thames, get funding for medical treatment. Peter says ' Mark has always been very helpful and made a huge contribution to the well-being of the river'. Details of Mark's condition and how you can help are here.

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July 10th 2020

Highways England will open the public consultation on the Lower Thames Crossing on July 14th. Their website has a video already.

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July 10th 2020

Actions to oppose planning permission with a judicial review for Deptford's Convoys Wharf are underway. Can you help please? Details are here.       

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July 9th 2020

The latest newsletter from PLA is here.

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July 9th 2020

The Environment Agency has published its new strategy
'EA2025 - Creating a Better Place'.

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July 9th 2020

Earlier this week, restoration work on PS Medway Queen resumed with Covoid-19 procedures in place.

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July 8th 2020

TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine) Selina successfully arrived at Chambers Wharf this afternoon., See press release.

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July 8th 2020

The Thames Festival Trust announced the programme for 'Totally Thames 2020' taking place between September 1st and 30th 2020.

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July 8th 2020

Thames Clippers today announced a new partnership with Uber. The service will be known as 'Uber Boat by Thames Clippers'. Uber will buy the namiong rights for boats and piers. River tickets will be bookable on the Uber App. More details here.

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July 7th 2020

PLA has confirmed that Richmond Footbridge has re-opened.

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July 6th 2020

Purfleet in Essex is now Purfleet-on-Thames. Read about it here.

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July 6th 2020

July 6-10th is Maritime Safety Week 2020.  River users are asked to support this initiative from UK Government and to take note of the 'Near Miss Reporting' arrangements on the tidal Thames.

July 3rd 2020

Paddleboard users are advised to read this important safety advice published today by PLA.

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 July 2nd 2020 

 A 'floating lido' could be coming to the River Thames. A planning application has been submitted to Tower Hamlets Council. Read more here.

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July 2nd 2020

The Great River Race 2020 has been cancelled as the resullt of the Coronavirus restrictions.

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June 30th 2020

Happy Birthday Tower Bridge - 126 years old today.

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June 30th 2020

Survey on plastic polution in River Thames published by Thames21.

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June 24th 2020

A really interesting and informative video ' PLA Annual Stakeholder Forum 2020' is now avaiable here

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June 18th 2020

Great views of the River Thames in central London as seen from the Red Arrows flypast. The video also includes the flypast over Paris.

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June 17th 2020

RTS Members are invited to review plans to develop the Riverside at Twickenham and submit comments. Full details are here. The consultation closes on July 12th. 

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June 14th 2020

The world's largest container ship HMM Algeciras arrived at London Gateway on Sunday June 14th. She carries 24,000 20ft containers and had come from China and South Korea. Read PLA press release.  View the PLA video here.

HMM Algeciras

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June 11th 2020

Which movie offers the greatest scene shot on the River Thames. The Guardian has published its list. Do you agree?

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June 5th 2020

Rebecca Row, Parliamentary Under Secretary at DEFRA, expressed a desire to "start to get freight back on to the waterways. With the move to net zero and to cleaner air, this is actually a huge asset, and we are starting to realise that canals can have a rebirth as transport links.” This remark was welcomed by the Commercial Boat Operators Association.

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June 2020

Congratulations to the Thames Path and Ridgeway National Trails volunteers who have received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.  Details are here.

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HMS Belfast and PS Medway Queen Receive Awards

National  Historic Ships UK has announced that:

More information is here

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May 16th 2020

The annual 'Swan Upping' census on the River Thames, planned for mid-July, has been cancelled for 2020 because of social distancing regulations. Read more information in this article.

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ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2019.


River Thames Society Annual General Meeting 2019

The River Thames Society’s 57th Annual General Meeting took place on 6 April at the Thames Lodge Hotel, Staines and members  present heard an address from Chairman Peter Finch,endorsed the annual report and accounts, elected the Council and discussed a number of river-related matters.

Of the Council, a new member Tom Berman was elected ; Rupert Bagilhole, Jack Betteridge, Gillian Rix and John Tamsitt were elected for a further term as was Roy Miller, who had previously been co-opted. The Branch Chairmen endorsed as ex-officio members were Colin Reynolds ( Upper Thames), John Skuse ( Middle Thames), Jackie Lambert ( Teddington to Old Windsor), Hilary Pereira ( Upper Tideway), Peter Finch ( Central Tideway & Estuary). 

The President  Lord Owen ,Vice- President Lady Borwick , Company Secretary & Honorary Solicitor Guy Barlow ,Independent Examiner  Ian Anderson  and Administrator, Helen Batten were thanked for their attendance and assistance during the year.

At a subsequent Council meeting Peter Finch was elected as Chairman, Les Jones Vice-Chairman ( Non-Tidal), Jack Betteridge Vice-Chairman ( Tidal) and John Tamsitt Honorary Treasurer.

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PLANNING GUIDELINES

The Society has always taken an interest in planning, on or by the Thames. Guidelines have been drawn up, under five themes based on our overall aims:

• Improve/maintain public access to the river • Protect the natural environment • Promote the best built environment • Keep the river active • Support like-minded others.

The RTS has a special contribution to make as we incorporate all those interested in the Thames and its active users. We cover all parts of the river and can bring expertise from many quarters. Unlike many amenity societies we cover both banks, we have no commercial interests and believe we are uniquely placed to present a balanced view. Planning is led by our five branches, so please help them by bringing key applications to their attention in time for comments to be submitted. If you have a special interest in planning, please do volunteer your services. The full version of the Planning Guidelines can be found under Publications.

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THAMES TIDEFEST WAS BACK FOR 2019



Wildlife organisations, river and environmental groups and community associations worked hard on plans for the sixth Thames Tidefest  held on the tidal Thames in London on Sunday September 8th.

Tidefest is now an established River Thames event which 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 and Fuller, Smith & Turner with support from the London Borough of Hounslow, Thames Festival, Port of London Authority and the Environment Agency.

Tidefest was once again based at Strand-on-the-Green in Chiswick with activities and events at Brentford, Barnes, Twickenham, Deptford and other locations along the Thames Tideway.

There were  loads of great activities for all the family including children’s games, foreshore walks, angling competition, boat trips, paddleboarding, river dipping, kayaking, nature reserve visits, water games, stalls and displays, talks and film showings, live fish tanks, local artists, food, music and generous discounts off admissions to the London Museum of Water and Steam and the Eel Pie Island museum.

 

Tidefest is a great opportunity to enjoy a day by the river with lots to see and do – both on and off the water. You can discover what lives in the river, explore the river’s archaeological history or get out on the water by boat, kayak or even Stand Up Paddleboard. The London Wildlife Trust and the RSPB will also be on hand to talk about London’s wildlife and there will be special photo walks and talks all aimed at bringing this amazing ‘wildlife corridor’ to life.

Tidefest is now a well-established annual event that grows in popularity every year 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 yet surprisingly few people are aware of what a great resources we have here in the heart of London. Once again there will be a special emphasis on highlighting the menace of plastic pollution which is doing so much harm in our rivers and oceans.

There were a range of new attractions this year with new boat trips on the Thames and visits to the Deptford Creek and Thames Water’s Kempton Nature reserve.

 

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RTS out and about on the river:

Tudor Pull

Tudor Pull

(picture credit: Sue Milton)

RTS’s cutter the Thames Guardian joined the Queen’s row barge Gloriana in the annual ceremonial Tudor Pull .

Rowed by the Royal Watermen and escorted by craft from the City Livery Companies, and other clubs and organisations, Gloriana carried the ‘stela’ – a slice of ancient wooden water pipe – from Hampton Court Palace to the Tower of London.