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RTS Branch Map_5.CentralTidway_EstuaryV2

Chairman:     Peter Finch

                      07711 419772



Secretary:     Susan Raber

                      020 83043155


The area covered by the Branch extends from Putney to the Estuary – from largely residential with occasional working wharves, through the historic centre of London, to converted warehouses and docks, down to the existing port areas , open country on both banks, to the sea.

Ships range from recreational craft to ferries, tugs towing barges to very large container vessels, visiting square-rigged ships to cruise liners.

Our Branch deals with many planning and environmental issues, from an application to modify a listed building through to large-scale developments, with those proposed at Convoys’s Wharf, Deptford and Swanscombe just two current examples. We also seek to maintain and improve public access to the river, such as the former waterman’s stairs, draw-docks and other former boat-landing places, together with preserving the current, vitally important ship repair and building facilities.

We have a volunteer River Warden scheme ( shared with Upper Tideway Branch), with members responsible for particular stretches or reaches of the river, reporting and problems on the Thames Path or foreshore, which are then taken up with the appropriate authorities. Members also organise clean-ups along the banks, often in co-operation with local groups and Thames 21, a major environmental charity.

The Branch, as did the Society as a whole, supported the construction of the Tideway Tunnel, which will end the scandal of sewage entering the river at times of heavy rainfall, we have taken part in campaigns to create nature reserves and for using the river rather than roads for transporting goods and materials.

We maintain liaison with the Port of London Authority, regional and local councils, industrial and recreational groups , including rowing and sailing clubs and seek to take part in conferences, research and other activities looking at aspects of river life.

On the social side we organise events, ranging from talks with visiting speakers to river walks and trips to visits to places of interest. Recent examples include a screening of a film about the river made by a member who is a former BBC director, to a walk along the Thames Path in Wapping and Limehouse, to a visit to the PLA’s pilots’ simulator at Gravesend.

Details of our branch events are listed in the Events Diary.

Branch Chairman's Update - March 2024

  • The Branch AGM was held on March 12th at The Mayflower, Rotherhithe.

  • Planning issues discussed :The massive development of the former ITV Centre, South Bank, which we opposed as did Lambeth Council, then went to a Planning Inspector then to the Secretary of State, who gave approval.

  • Upward extension to Minerva House, Southwark, which we opposed mainly because it will partially obscure Southwark Cathedral from the river. Approved by Southwark Council, going ahead with tugs and barges used during construction.

  • Introduction of a large passenger vessel Ocean Diva, which raised many concerns including from riverside residents. The company concerned has now decided not to proceed and the ship has returned to Holland.

  • Repairs and preservation of watermen’s stairs in Tower Hamlets.

  • Closure of the bridge taking the Thames Path over the pumping station , Canary Wharf – eventually re-opened by the Canal & River Trust.

  • Proposed restrictions to access to Tower Bridge Wharf, which we opposed, as did Tower Hamlets Council, now going to appeal.

  • There are some vacant places for River Wardens – further information from the Chairman.

  • We continued our walk along the Thames Path in the branch area in February,

  • Future branch events are listed on the Events page.

Central Tideway and Estuary Branch

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