Great River Race

Saturday 14th September 2019

As part of the Totally Thames Festival the Great River Race will be run upstream from London Docklands to Ham. The gruelling 21 mile course attracts both the true racer and the leisure rower. Around 330 crews from all over the globe take part – all traditional style with a minimum of 4 oars or paddles and carrying a cox and passenger.

Come down to Chiswick Pier to watch the Great River Race on Saturday 14th September. The race begins at Docklands at 11.20 on a “slowest first, fastest last” handicap basis. The first boats should be passing Chiswick Pier by 13.15 with the winner arriving at Ham by around 14.30.

Chiswick Pier is a wonderful vantage point for spectators. The Pier House will be open from 12.00 where hot and cold refreshments, savoury and sweet crepes and wine and beer will be on sale. Please do come and join us.

Chiswick Pier Trust. The Pier House, Corney Reach Way, London, W4 2UG

Tel: 020 8742 2713
Email: trust@chiswickpier.org.uk
Download transport connections and map.

No Longer an Island

No Longer an Island: The Port of London and the Thames in the First World War

A talk by Chris Everett from the Docklands History Group

Tuesday September 24, 2019, 7.30 pm at Chiswick Pier Trust

Historian Chris Everett from the Docklands History Group reflects on the role of the Thames during WW1, and the impact war had on the river in terms of trade and munitions; and the impact the river had on the war in terms of keeping the army supplied at the Front in September’s Talks by the Thames at Chiswick Pier Trust.

Until 1914 Britain’s defence was dependent on the Royal Navy but with the invention of ‘lighter than air’ technologies Britain was no longer an island. The consequences for the Port of London at the very epicentre of the British Empire was significant. London, a world port, was essential for a myriad of goods and supplies for over 8 million mouths in the south and east of England. High unemployment among the casual workers in the docks soon saw severe labour shortages and backlogs of cargoes as the war machine evolved and men of fighting age enlisted or were conscripted. London’s defenders now had to consider the threat of invasion, the war from above and from beneath the waves, it was total war. With the public’s attention naturally drawn to the attrition on the battlefields of the Western Front and Gallipoli the story of the Port of London throughout the First World War has been largely untold, but the harsh lessons learned in 1914-1918 would lead directly to a readiness for the Second World War.

A 6th generation Londoner and a guide of some 20 years’ experience, Chris is a lecturer, tutor, researcher and historian specialising in London related topics. With an MA from Birkbeck, University of London, Chris has a particular interest in the docks, the River Thames and the impact of both World Wars on London. Chris has been an active member of the Docklands History Group for over 10 years and a Committee member for the last seven.

Doors open at 7 pm. £3 for non-members, FREE for members. Parking is free in nearby Pumping Station Road after 5 pm. Buses E3 or 190.

Chiswick Pier Trust. The Pier House, Corney Reach Way, London, W4 2UG

Tel: 020 8742 2713
Email: trust@chiswickpier.org.uk
Download transport connections and map.

James Abbot McNeil Whistler and the Thames

James Abbot McNeil Whistler and the Thames: An American in London

A talk by Matthew Morgan from the Royal Collection

Tuesday October 29, 2019 at 7.30 pm at Chiswick Pier Trust

James Abbot McNeil Whistler was born in America, raised in Russia, trained in Paris and lived much of his adult life in Chelsea, where the Thames became a leitmotif throughout his career as an artist. For forty years, he produced images of the Thames where he explored the industrial nature of the river and dockside life, while revelling in the natural beauties of Thames, especially the effect of fog on the river as seen in the Nocturnes (Nocturne Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge pictured).

Matthew Morgan is an art historian and lecturer and has delivered talks extensively around the country. He is Adult Learning Curator at the Royal Collection and was previously at the National Gallery. He also teaches at Birkbeck, University of London, where he gained his PhD. Prior to working in the museum sector he was in the commercial art world, notably a decade spent as Director of the Valuations Department at Christie’s.

Doors open at 7 pm. £3 for non-members, FREE for members. Parking is free in nearby Pumping Station Road after 5 pm. Buses E3 or 190.

Chiswick Pier Trust. The Pier House, Corney Reach Way, London, W4 2UG

Tel: 020 8742 2713
Email: trust@chiswickpier.org.uk
Download transport connections and map.

The Living Thames

Film showing followed by panel discussion with film maker, scientist and Thames archeologist

Tuesday 26 November 2019, 7.30 pm at Chiswick Pier Trust

Introduced by David Attenborough, and presented by environmentalist Chris Baines, the award- winning film, The Living Thames is an odyssey along the river as it meanders through London and flows out to sea, exploring its ever-changing ecology.

The Thames is Britain’s most famous river. Nevertheless, many people don’t know very much about it. For millions who see it every day, it’s a mystery.

Sixty years ago the Thames was severely polluted. Many people still see it as dead and dirty.

The reality, however, is completely different. Thanks to the dedicated work of many, the Thames has recovered dramatically to become one of the cleanest inner-city rivers in Europe and it teems with life.

Followed by Q&A session with Dorothy Leiper (producer/director/editor), estuarine scientist Amy Pryor of the Thames Estuary Partnership (co-producer) and Thames archaeologist Fiona Haughey.

Doors open at 7 pm. £3 for non-members, FREE for members. Parking is free in nearby Pumping Station Road after 5 pm. Buses E3 or 190.

Chiswick Pier Trust. The Pier House, Corney Reach Way, London, W4 2UG

Tel: 020 8742 2713
Email: trust@chiswickpier.org.uk
Download transport connections and map.

The River’s Archaeological Tale

A talk by archaeologist Josh Frost from the Thames Discovery Programme

Tuesday, 28th January 2020 at 7.30 pm at Chiswick Pier Trust

Explore the history and archaeology of the River Thames without having to get your feet wet. From the prehistoric to the present day, the Thames has been at the heart of London’s story. Twice a day from Erith in the east to Isleworth in the west, low tides reveals the archaeology of the foreshore, but with increasing erosion this archaeology is at risk.

The Thames Discovery Programme is a community archaeology project dedicated to monitoring and recording the incredible archaeology of the foreshore along the tidal Thames. Now in its tenth year, the TDP has trained over 700 volunteers to record the archaeology of the fast eroding foreshore. Senior Community Archaeologist Josh Frost will tell the story of the river’s archaeological tale through the sites on which the TDP works and how the remains on the foreshore play a vital role in telling London’s story.

Doors open at 7 pm. £3 for non-members, FREE for members. Parking is free in nearby Pumping Station Road after 5 pm. Buses E3 or 190.

Chiswick Pier Trust. The Pier House, Corney Reach Way, London, W4 2UG

Tel: 020 8742 2713
Email: trust@chiswickpier.org.uk
Download transport connections and map.

A Whole Day’s Dreaming

A Whole Day’s Dreaming: Yeats, the Thames, and Poetry

Lecture by Cahal Dallat with Yeats readings by Anne-Marie Fyfe

Tuesday 25 February 2020, 7.30 pm at Chiswick Pier Trust

The Thames has long had a magnetic attraction for writers and artists but for Nobel-Prize-winning poet WB Yeats, growing up in nearby Bedford Park, the riverbanks between Chiswick Pier & Hammersmith were a vital resource: both a place to meet influential and inspirational people, and the source of one of the world’s best-loved poems of longing, The Lake Isle of Innisfree.

Chiswick poets Cahal Dallat and Anne-Marie Fyfe, both from Ireland’s Glens of Antrim, conjure up for us, through talk, excerpts from the young WB Yeats’s poems & letters, and a little music, Yeats’s late-19th-century Thames-side circle of poets, painters, playwrights, political thinkers and small-press publishers, and the natural riverbank world of willows, osiers, & water lapping with low sounds by the shore.

Founder/organiser of the WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project, poet and musician Cahal Dallat has lectured widely on Yeats’s London years. His latest poetry collection is The Year of Not Dancing (Blackstaff Press): next collection due from Salmon Poetry, spring 2021. A regular BBC Radio 4 Saturday Review contributor since 1998, he won the 2017 Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry, was 2017 centenary poet/musician-in-residence for Cornwall’s Charles Causley Trust, 2018 Harry Ransom Center Research Fellow at University of Texas, and jointly, with Anne-Marie Fyfe, 2019 Lenoir Rhyne University writer-in-residence in North Carolina.

Anne-Marie Fyfe has published 5 collections of poetry and a literary/travel-memoir, No Far Shore, Charting Unknown Waters (Seren Books, 2019), the story of an18-month coastal quest in the US, Canada, Ireland & Britain; has run Coffee-House Poetry’s readings & classes at London’s leading live literature venue, the Troubadour in Earls Court, since 1997; is Poetry Co-ordinator for the annual John Hewitt International Summer School in Ireland, and is former chair of Britain’s national Poetry Society.

Doors open at 7 pm. £3 for non-members, FREE for members. Parking is free in nearby Pumping Station Road after 5 pm. Buses E3 or 190.

Chiswick Pier Trust. The Pier House, Corney Reach Way, London, W4 2UG

Tel: 020 8742 2713
Email: trust@chiswickpier.org.uk
Download transport connections and map.

An interview with Ben Aaronovitch

An interview with Ben Aaronovitch, author of the Rivers of London Series

Tuesday 31st March 2020, 7.30 pm at Chiswick Pier Trust

Born and raised in London Ben Aaronovitch had the sort of unrelentingly uninteresting childhood that drives a person to drink or Science Fiction. The later proved useful in his early career when he wrote for Doctor Who (before it was fashionable), Casualty and the cheapest soap opera ever made – Jupiter Moon.

Alas his career foundered in the late 1990s and he was forced to go out and work for living. It was while running the Crime and Science Fiction sections at the Covent Garden branch of Waterstones that he conceived the notion of writing novels instead.

Thus was the Rivers of London series born and when the first book proved to be a runaway success he waited all of five minutes to give up the day job and return to the bliss that is a full time writing career. He still lives in the city that he modestly calls ‘the capital of the world’ and says he will leave when they prise London from his cold dead fingers.

He promises that he is already hard at work on the next Peter Grant novel and not computer games – honest.

Doors open at 7 pm. £3 for non-members, FREE for members. Parking is free in nearby Pumping Station Road after 5 pm. Buses E3 or 190.

Chiswick Pier Trust. The Pier House, Corney Reach Way, London, W4 2UG

Tel: 020 8742 2713
Email: trust@chiswickpier.org.uk
Download transport connections and map.