They’re Bombing the Docks live webinar

Tuesday 23 February 2021 at 19.30 ‘They’re Bombing the Docks!’ by Chris Everett

Talks by the Thames moves ON LINE with a FREE live webinar

Donations welcome.

Chris Everett returns to Chiswick Pier Trust with the second part of his fascinating – and largely undocumented – history of the Thames during WWI and WWII.

September 7th 2020 was the 80th anniversary of Black Saturday, the first day of the blitz in 1940. The target that day was the London Docks. Significantly it had been a hot summer and the potential for fire spreading was good, especially with a cocktail of high explosive, oil and incendiary devices and the huge amount of timber stored in the Surrey Commercial Docks as well as the many other flammable goods stored in the Thameside warehouses.

The massed aerial attack by over 300 bombers with 600 fighter escorts would inflict havoc along a 40 mile stretch of the Thames’ industrial shoreline and its riverside communities. Over 400 Londoners would die that first night.

Britain had been planning for war in Europe since 1933 and in 1936 Port Executive Committees were established in the major ports to organise defences. By far the largest and nearest Port to Europe and therefore the most vulnerable was London.

London had been bombed by airship and aeroplane in World War 1, the assessment afterwards was that the ‘bomber will always get through’. So how should London and its essential docks prepare? This talk examines how successful those plans were, looks at the experiences of the civilian workforce involved on the river and in the docks within the context of London, still capital of The British Empire, during those six years of a second World War.

As the events of those dark days recede into history today only those aged over 80 can remember the war, and only those over 95 would have played an active role, our responsibility is to keep those memories and history alive for future generations.

About Chris Everett

‘They’re bombing the docks!’ is the follow up talk to Chris’s very popular presentation in the last Talks on the Thames series to the Thames during WWI called ‘No Longer an Island’.

Chris is at least a 6th generation Londoner and a freelance guide of some 20 years’ experience. He is also a lecturer, tutor, researcher and historian specialising in London related topics. Chris has an MA in London Studies from Birkbeck, University of London. He has a particular interest in the Docks, 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.

DETAILS

This webinar is free, although any donations will be gratefully received to support Chiswick Pier Trust in its work of bringing people to the River. Like most charities, we have been affected by lockdown and would be grateful for any support you can give.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/x/theyre-bombing-the-docks-a-history-of-the-thames-in-wwii-tickets-137775511263

Rewilding Arcadia live webinar

SOLD OUT – Tuesday 30 March 2021 at 19.30 Rewilding Arcadia live webinar with Jason Debney

Talks by the Thames has moved on-line with a programme of free webinars.

Donations welcome.
Jason Debney, co-ordinator of the Arcadian section of the Thames Landscape Strategy, will speak about the Rewilding Arcadia project – a series of nature-based flood risk management projects designed to restore the lost floodplain to re-reconnect water, people, heritage and wildlife with the natural cycles of the Thames.

As the climate changes, the Arcadian Thames faces a new challenge.  Models predict that over the next 50 years many of the public walks, parks and gardens that characterise the Arcadian Thames will need to adapt, in response to increasing flood risk, if they are to retain their special landscape character, recreational value, cultural significance and wildlife diversity.  The Thames Landscape Strategy has been at the forefront in developing solutions to this challenge.  Launched by Sir David Attenborough, the Restoration of the Lost Floodplain sets out a long-term series of measures that would see the incremental evolution of the landscape in response to climate change.   Rewilding Arcadia is the next stage in the implementation of this ground-breaking initiative.

Rewilding Arcadia looks to achieve multiple landscape benefits, for the long-term, to ensure that local communities, businesses, landowners, agencies and river users are fully engaged with flood risk management policy and solutions to increase public understanding about flooding and the need for change.  

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.

First Aid Course

October 16

Join us at Chiswick Pier on October 16th from 10.00-12.00 to learn some basic first aid skills with Hilary Sutch an experienced first aid trainer.

Tickets £25.00. To book please call 020 8742 2713 between 11.00 and 3.00.

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 archaeologist

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.

Watercolour Painting Day

Chiswick Pier

Wednesday 4th December 9.30 am – 4.00 pm

Having held two very popular and successful workshops this year Julia Cassels will be holding another on 4th December at Chiswick Pier. She will be working with watercolours on the topic of penguins. This workshop is suitable for beginners right through to the more experienced artist.

The fee for the day is £35 (£32 for Chiswick Pier Trust members). Please bring your own materials and a packed lunch. Refreshments will be available to purchase.

Call 020 8742 2713 to book a place.

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. £5 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. £5 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.