Friday, February 07, 2014

Flooded Eel Pie

Back in December I headed upriver to visit the wonderfully named Eel Pie Island, one of the few inhabited islands on the Thames in London.

As well as having a superb location blending green fields with sparkling water it has a stellar history of art and music. In the now closed Eel Pie Hotel you could hear the likes of The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Who, Pink Floyd and even Ivor Cutlor.

Since then it has become an artist colony - and also a centre of boat building and repair. At the galleries open day I could admire canvases dotted around proper sized sheds equipped to build and repair ocean going yachts:
It has no roads, just the footbridge (top) connecting it to mainland, and is a quiet oasis where a lucky few live with views like this:
I was pretty envious to be honest - particularly for the mooring rights.

However it sounds like things are not going, er, swimmingly at the moment. As anyone living in blighty right now will know all too well it has been very very wet start to 2014, and Eel Pie Island's position makes it rather vulnerable to rising river levels.

According to the Evening Standard a "police task force had to rescue stranded members of the public from Eel Pie Island".

The water level in Putney sometimes does indeed flood the Embankment but it is controlled. The water level here is directly connected to its height at Westminster and you can guarantee that that location will be the highest priority for those managing the Thames.

Indeed to protect central London the Thames Barrier has been working over-time, rising a record 13 consecutive tides to block the incoming tide which otherwise would combine with river flows to burst banks which should never be breached.

But even that doesn't seem to have been enough to protect Eel Pie Island.

And tomorrow another storm is forecast to blow in.

Better get those wellies ready.


Tillerman said...

I prefer my eel pie with gravy.

JP said...

I prefer my eel smoked & on toast

Tillerman said...

To be perfectly honest, I don't think I have ever actually eaten eel. Must rectify that on my next trip to London.

JP said...

Its a slightly sensitive subject as eel numbers have been decreasing rapidly. So for example the sushi chain Wasabi stopped having eel which is a shame but its still on a number of restaurants menus.