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.


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.

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.  

Old Father Thames live webinar

Tuesday April 27 2021  at 19.30   Old Father Thames live webinar by fine art photographer Julia Fullerton- Batten

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

Donations welcome.

Fine art photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten will talk about the inspiration behind her complex and evocative pictures of the Thames.    In the Old Father Thames project, historical, cultural and traditional events provide both an imaginative springboard and a distinctive visual ‘voice’ for her haunting images. Julia will discuss how she creates her images from inspiration to technical execution, and what they say about her own experience of shooting on the banks of the Thames.

This webinar is for lovers of photography and, of course, the River Thames.

Julia is internationally renowned for both her commercial and fine art work, has won innumerable awards and is a Hasselblad Ambassador. Her work is retained in permanent collection in the National Portrait Gallery, London and the Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland. Her short film ‘1814 Frost Fair’ from her Old Father Thames project was recently a Gold Winner in the Queen Palm International Film Festival. She is the IPA winner of Photographer of the Year 2020 for her work ‘Looking Out from Within, 2020.’

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.

Engineering, Humanity and Rivers live webinar

Tuesday 25 May at 19.30   Engineering, Humanity and Rivers – a live webinar by Professor Chris Wise

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


Donations welcome.

Recognised as one of the most inventive engineers of his generation, and with his handiwork while a director of Arup on the ‘wobbly’ Millennium Bridge garnering huge public attention, Chris Wise is still helping create bold design solutions which improve public spaces on the banks of our rivers.  His company, Expedition, engineered the Olympic Velodrome and the park-wide Sustainable Water Strategy in 2012; looked at the engineering challenges of the Drebbel, a wooden submarine rowed down the Thames in 1624, and has designed more bridges like the multi-award winning Infinity Bridge, as well as the Diamond Jubilee Bridge.   Engineering, Humanity and Rivers is a look at some of the challenges of building on, under or near London’s tidal river to create beautiful and exciting spaces for people to enjoy.

In a related career also as a design Professor at Imperial, Yale and UCL, Chris is now the senior director at Expedition Engineering working with clients, and mentoring up-and-coming engineers.    Many will be familiar with Expedition Engineering’s work locally, as they designed the new footbridge to Chiswick Park, chosen as one of the 10 best bridges in the world by Dezeen last year.

This webinar is free, although any donations would be very gratefully received to support the work of Chiswick Pier Trust.

Midsummer Jazz Cruise

Friday 25 June at 7pm

£50 per head

To celebrate the summer solstice and coming out of lockdown Chiswick Pier Trust would like to welcome you back to the river by hosting a Jazz Cruise on Friday 25 June. We will be leaving Chiswick Pier at 7pm sailing upstream.

On board to serenade you whilst sailing the Thames will be the popular jazz band Anacousis. During the cruise a two course supper will be served and drinks can be ordered from the bar.

Leaving in daylight on a summers evening, experience the magic of the river and its banks. This is the perfect way to enjoy the River Thames on a midsummer evening.

Booking for the Cruise is now closed, but we have a waiting list, so do continue with your application for tickets and we will let you know if a place becomes available. Also, we are planning more cruises and we will offer tickets first to those who are on our waiting list!.

  • Please state any special dietary requirements

Tea on the Thames Cruise

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Chiswick Pier to Kingston

Chiswick Pier Trust would like to invite you to join us for a Tea on the Thames cruise on Wednesday 7th July at 2.30pm. We will be sailing up-river to Kingston and back. It’s the perfect afternoon out with friends and family.

The cruise will be seated, with table allocations advised
before boarding. A full afternoon tea with cakes, sandwiches and scones with clotted cream and jam will be served in individual, sealed single use boxes and other refreshments will be available to purchase.

Tickets are now on sale : Adults £25, Children (under 8) £16.

  • Please state any special dietary requirements
  • Price: £ 25.00 Quantity:
  • Price: £ 16.00 Quantity:
  • £ 0.00
    Upon submission you will be redirected to PayPal where you can pay with a debit or credit card or using your PayPal account if you have one.

Party on the Pier

Party on the Pier 25 July from 11 am – 4pm

Party on the Pier is a showcase of what the charities based at Chiswick Pier have to offer, and a wonderful introduction to river-based activities, as well as being a terrific day out for the family.

Always popular are the free boat trips which this year are being run on the Golden Salamander, courtesy of our sponsors Fuller. A trip will run every 45 minutes, and you can pick up your ticket on the day. The marvellous Amanda from Amanda’s Action Kids will be with us to entertain the little ones, and there will be lots of fun stalls, activities and food and drink.

The charities based at Chiswick Pier will be showing their work and the activities they run throughout the year. Chiswick Pier Canoe Club, who operate from the Trust on Sundays, are offering canoe taster sessions which are appropriate for young people aged over 14, as well as adults. The Thames Explorer Trust has a River Dipping Session at 11 am, which is a guided exploration of the foreshore. The RNLI will have information about its work, and souvenir stand. The Sea Cadets will have a stall where little ones can practice catching plastic ducks, and adults and children can enter a tombola. You can find out the sort of activities and training the Sea Cadets offer young people, and meet some of the current recruits.

There are a variety of artisan craft stalls, from the gorgeous Chiswick Pots to upcycled vintage teacups and saucers scented candles from Isola Bella. There’s jewellery from Silver Daze and you can even pick up a bandana for your dog from Black Dog company! Usborne – who produce the very best books for children of all ages and were awarded Children’s publisher of 2020 – have a stand, and Tinderbox will be selling toys and lucky dips for children. Aunty Planty can advise you on any knotty garden problems, and the New Chiswick Pool will be there with details of membership, site tours, gym passes and fitness competitions.

Join us for lunch, live music, and a drink at the London Pride Fullers Bar. Salt Beef Shack are providing fantastic salt beef bagels and Reubens sandwiches, as well as hotdogs and smoked salmon bagels with cream cheese. Mama Pets will be serving mouthwatering Caribbean vegetarian food and there’ll be handmade ice creams from Super Scoop Italian Gelato, or freshly made crepes, and we’ll have hot and cold refreshments too.

Party on the Pier Timetable

From 11 am:

Thames Explorer Trust meet outside the Pier House for River Dipping
The first free boat trip leaves (and then runs every 45 minutes).
The first Canoe Taster Sessions start

Amanda’s Action Kids, sponsored by Sworn and Co, will run sessions at 12.00, 1.00 pm and 2.30 pm.

Public Transport:

By E3 bus, destination ‘Chiswick Edensor Road’ which runs past Turnham Green Tube (District Line) and Chiswick Mainline Station. This terminates adjacent to the roundabout in Edensor Road.

The 190 bus from Hammersmith (Piccadilly and District Lines) to Richmond (District Line and Richmond Mainline) passes the end of Edensor Road on the A316 (Burlington Lane).

Public parking is available in Pumping Station Road and is free at the weekend.

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
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
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.