Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thames Festival 2009

Yesterday went along to sample a little of the Thames Festival.

First there was the Feast on the Bridge (below): Southwark Bridge was closed to traffic, with buses and black cabs replaced by communal dining tables and food stalls. You could get a burger or tandori chicken, though my fiver went on a hog roast sandwich (which went the wrong way, causing all sorts of embarrassing coughing and spluttering).

Towards Tower Bridge (below) there were moored Thames Barges and along the river bank a line of stalls from the RNLI, the PLA, Thames 21, Wandle Trust, Thames Water, and many others. Had a useful chat to someone from the PLA about mooring rights and the Wandle Trust about the horrors of developers and then crossed Tower Bridge to get to St Katharines Dock.

Here were an array of lovely classic wooden boats (top). My favourite was the beauty below called Katrine (bel0w), which is a Whitstable Smack from 1910. Sailed as a gentleman's yacht rather than working boat she was once dismasted by the Cutty Sark!

Then there was a river pageant which was a bit disappointing, a final walk by the Tower of London, which is pretty impressive if you forget the crowds of tourists swarming all over it, before heading home.

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