Barges & Bread

Tuesday 30 October at 7.30 pm at Chiswick Pier Trust

Di Murrell is a food historian and award-winning writer who knows the waterways of Britain back to front. For years she and her husband worked a pair of canal boats, loading up with barrels of lime pulp which they transported from the London docks to the wharf in Hemel Hempstead belonging to Rose’s Lime Cordial. They made many trips with heavy loads like sand, grain, coal or lime, and Di learnt the value of slow cooking.

Throughout her career, Di became involved in the politics of inland waterways, campaigning against the loss of river transport. She was instrumental in the re-introduction of upriver grain traffic. When working on the river, Di got to know bargemen, dockers and lightermen, and saw their life and skills slowly disappear as more modern ways of transporting grain took over.

She will be talking about her life on the Thames, and her book, Barges and Bread, is a history of grain, the river Thames, London and historic events like the Plague, and bread making, from parched grains to flatbreads, and Ezekial bread, to how the need to feed the many who live in cities has led to bread which has little relationship to what we once enjoyed without thinking, the kind of bread we now call ‘artisan’ bread.

Winner of the Sophie Coe prize for food history, Di Murrell writes for French travel magazines, and Petits Propos Culinaires. She and her husband spent many years afloat on barges, often moored at Brentford, bringing up their sons. Now she splits her time between France and London.

Chiswick Pier Trust, The Pier House, Corney Reach Way, W4 2UG. £3 for non-members, FREE for members.

You can turn up on the evening and buy a ticket.

River Cruise – CANCELLED

Fireworks Cruise CANCELLED

The Lord Mayor of London is elected each year in October, and this year’s Lord Mayor, Peter Estlin, who is to be installed on 9th November 2018, has decided that there will be no fireworks.

So it is with great regret that we are cancelling our Fireworks Cruise on Saturday 10th November, and all ticket holders will be refunded in full.

Hidden Depths – Women of the RNLI

A talk by Sue Hennessy on Tuesday 27 November 7.30 pm at Chiswick Pier Trust

For over 180 years images of strong, selfless males have populated the reports and literature of the lifeboat service. What has not been so well documented or recognised are the roles that, right from the very beginning, women have played in working to save lives at sea.

The stereotypical image is of women waiting in the lifeboat house for their men to return – brewing tea and giving encouragement and solace to each other. Look more deeply and it becomes clear that women have always been at the heart of the lifeboat operation, undertaking a wide range of tasks which draw upon their distinctive skills and talents. From Victorian times right through to the twenty-first century, women have always been “strong to save”. Sue Hennessy’s talk examines the role of women in one of the nation’s most beloved rescue service, the RNLI.

Chiswick Pier Trust, The Pier House, Corney Reach Way, W4 2UG. £3 for non-members, FREE for members.

You can turn up on the evening and buy a ticket.

Watercolour Workshop

Wednesday 5 December 2018 10.00 am - 3.00 pm

Watercolour Workshop with Julia Cassels, focusing on warm tones

After the success of her summer course, ‘Loose and Lively’, artist Julia Cassels returns with a new workshop focusing on warmer tones. The workshop is suitable for beginners to advanced watercolourists. On Wednesday 5 December between 10am until 3pm at Chiswick Pier Trust. £30 for non-members, £27 for members

Call 020 8742 2713 or 07594 596729 to book tickets.

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

Treasure in the River Thames

Tuesday 29 January at 7.30 pm

A talk by mudlarker Jason Sandy

What secrets lie buried in the thick, black mud of the River Thames? For over 2,000 years, the Thames has been a great repository of lost and discarded objects. Each object, whether mundane or extraordinary, reveals a unique story about London and the people who lived here centuries ago. Jason Sandy, a member of the exclusive Society of Thames Mudlarks, has found and recovered incredible artefacts which are on display in several museums. If you would like to see part of his extensive mudlarking collection and hear the intriguing backstories about the extraordinary artefacts, Jason will be giving the January Talk by the Thames at Chiswick Pier Trust. Come join us for an epic journey through London’s illustrious history!

Chiswick Pier Trust, The Pier House, Corney Reach Way, W4 2UG. £3 for non-members, FREE for members.

You can turn up on the evening and buy a ticket.

The River Lea

Tuesday February 26, 2019 at 7.30 pm at Chiswick Pier Trust

London’s More Important River - The River Lea

A talk by Jeremy Batch from the Cruising Association

What do navigational buoys, lighthouses, tidal power, Britain’s first aeroplane, gunpowder, rockets, the light bulb, the diode, television, electronic warfare, the safety match, the rifle, the bouncing bomb, plate glass, plastic, petrol, gin, dog biscuits and the world’s most powerful warship all have in common? Answer: all were invented, developed, manufactured or tested along the River Lea and its accompanying man-made canal, the Lee Navigation. It has been our border with Scandinavia, London’s lifeline during the Great Plague, and the venue for the 2012 Olympic Games. It boasted Britain’s first lock with mitre gates, and now London’s newest: the Three Mills Lock on the Prescott Channel. What were the Three Mills used for, and why are there only two?

For 9 years Jeremy Batch was a Lock Keeper at Limehouse Lock, where the Regent’s Canal and the Lee Navigation meet the Thames. From November 2013, he has worked as an administrator for the Cruising Association, which is also based at Limehouse. He is well known among the boating community as an historian on Limehouse, shipping and navigation, and his talks are very popular and well attended.
A boater and a sailor, Jeremy narrowboats and motors on hired boats on the inland waterways. Until Jun 2016, he had a 24ft sailing cruiser, Dream, which was moored at Limehouse Marina.

He is a member of the Cruising Association (CA: based at Limehouse) and a former member of Greenwich Yacht Club (GYC) and his interest in the history of London’s docks and waterways began when he started to write a series of articles for Trident, the club magazine of GYC.

Chiswick Pier Trust, The Pier House, Corney Reach Way, W4 2UG. £3 for non-members, FREE for members.

You can turn up on the evening and buy a ticket.

Watercolour Workshop

Tuesday 5 March 9.30 am - 4.00 pm

Julia Cassels Watercolour Painting Day

After two popular and successful workshops last year, Julia Cassels returns to do a session with ostriches as the theme. Julia will be working with watercolours and the workshop is suitable for beginners right through to the more experienced artist.

The workshop will be held at Chiswick Pier Trust. The fee for the day is £30 (£27 for Chiswick Pier Trust members). Please bring your own materials and a packed lunch. Refreshments will be available to purchase.

Call 020 8742 2713 or 07594 596729 to book tickets.

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

Illuminated River

Tuesday March 26 at Chiswick Pier Trust at 7.30pm

Illuminated River - The Longest Public Art Commission in the World

A talk by Sarah Gaventa MA (RCA) Director of The Illuminated River Foundation

Incorporating up to 15 bridges, from Albert Bridge to Tower Bridge, once complete the Illuminated River will be the longest public art commission in the world at 2.5 miles in length, along 4.5 nautical miles of the River Thames.

Following an international competition launched in June 2016, which attracted more than 105 submissions, the winning scheme, led by American light artist Leo Villareal (the artist responsible for lighting San Francisco's Bay Bridge) and London architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, impressed the jury with their exciting kinetic artwork as well as their respect for the natural environment, local inhabitants and the architectural character and history of the bridges.

Villareal will use the latest LED technology to ‘paint with light’, taking influence from the natural and social activity of the river and producing sequenced patterns that play across the bridge structures. His lighting design will engage specifically with the site of each bridge, respecting and revealing their distinctive histories and architectural features, while the integrated motion across fifteen bridges will create a unified artwork that references the river as a continuous living system.

As Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The Illuminated River will give London free art. The project also means that a wasted asset and wasted resource will now be used. The team had thought through how the project is sustainable, how it will be energy efficient and use less energy.”

The Illuminated River will act as a catalyst to improve lighting conditions, cultivate new opportunities for use of the riverscape, and define the bridges as renewed civic spaces for Londoners.

Sarah Gaventa MA (RCA) is Director of The Illuminated River Foundation which has been set up to lead and deliver the project. An Honorary Fellow of both RIBA and the Landscape Institute, Sarah is a public space and public art expert and curator, and was previously Director of CABE Space at the Commission for Architecture and Built Environment. She has been Chair of the Elephant and Castle Regeneration Forum for the past five years.

Chiswick Pier Trust, The Pier House, Corney Reach Way, W4 2UG. £3 for non-members, FREE for members.

You can turn up on the evening and buy a ticket.

Great River Race 9th Sept

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.
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Through the Porthole 10th Sept

Through the Porthole – Houseboat Living on the Thames
Sunday, 10 September, 1:45 – 4:00pm

To celebrate TideFest 2017 we are presenting a double-bill on the pleasures, perils and pitfalls of houseboat life on the Thames: Read More