NEWS FROM ON AND AROUND
RIVER THAMES

August 12th 2020

The Port of London Authority has published its latest newsletter today. 

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August 10th 2020

.Two of the UK's largest port businesses, Forth Ports Group and DP World, are joining forces in a bid to establish a freeport on the Thames. Here are more details

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August 7th 2020

Police and Environment Agency Officials closed the island and imposed a series of access restrictions and special measures in the area around Teddington Lock to stop members of the public from jumping into the river in hot weather.

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August 6th 2020

With hot weather forecast, PLA reminds river users of the importance of safety in this message and video.

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August 6th 2020

A month ago RTS Chairman Peter Finch asked for 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'. Read an update on how the target amount has been met and the occasion was marked by PLA.

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August 3rd 2020

The partnership between Thames Clippers and Uber, announced on July 8th,  became real today with the arrival in service of a vessel branded 'Uber Boat by Thames Clippers'. 

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July 28th 2020

Potential development  of The London Resort located at Swanscombe, Kent on the bank of the River Thames has been announced. A public consultation is now underway.

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July 24th 2020

The Government-backed Thames Estuary Growth Board has launched 'The Green Blue' a plan for the next two years looking ahead 10 years.

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July 24th 2020

The Thames Estuary is the subject of a new initiative supported by the Arts Council to transform 60 miles of the estuary across Kent and Essex into one of the most exciting cultural hubs in the World.  Contributions are invited. Get involved here

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July 23rd 2020

The Queen's barge Gloriana could be housed in a new boathouse in Greenwich, subject to planning approval. Details are revealed in this article from Architect's JournalThe boathouse is a feature in a new development at Morden Wharf, Greenwich, just upstream from the O2.

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July 23rd 2020

RTS Branch Chairman Jackie Lambert asks members to join her in opposing a planning application for a permanent houseboat mooring at West Molesey. She says ' this is a land-grabbing insult to all law-abiding people who love the river, and should be forcefully resisted'. Each member is requested to oppose the application here.

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July 21st 2020

A report publicised on the BBC website expresses serious concern about microplastics in the River Thames.

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July 17th 2020

London's Illuminated River has celebrated its first anniversary and announced the start of phase 2 to illuminate five more bridges by Spring 2021.  

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July 14th 2020

The annual River Blessing service  was held on Sunday July 12th at Teddington.  Representatives of various organisations formed the socially distanced congregation. A video of the service is available here.

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July 13th 2020

The leader of Elmbridge Borough Council has asked the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency for action to remove illegally moored boats on River Thames between Weybridge and Hampton Court. 

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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

Highways England opened the public consultation on the Lower Thames Crossing on July 14th. Their website has a video and survey.

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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 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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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.