I'm a canoeist and regularly paddle the cental London River Thames. I am amazed at the junk revealed at low tide that has been thrown into the river. Televisions, motorbikes, lots of bicycles, industrial floor cleaners, CD's, shopping trolleys, pottery etc, etc. Do you know who dumps this stuff in the river? Has anyone been involved in cleaning the river banks? What are your opions?
I didn't know you could paddle about in the Thames, you must be restricted in someway...I want to know more about that, I'd like to sail actually, don't suppose I can sail on the Thames up and down in front of St.Paul's and that, might be a bit dangerous. Still a little info. would be appreciated.
The Westminster Boating Base do beginners' canoeing sessions on Tuesday evenings 6 - 9pm. (arraive no later than 5.45 pm. to have time to get changed) You will need a complete change of warm clothing including footwear - trainers are ok to begin with, a wind proof top and a towel. Buoyancy aids are provided. The cost is £6 per year if you are 23 or under or £7.50 per session if you are older than this.
W.B.B. teach sailing too but this is mainly for the youth members - beginners' night is Wednesday, same times and prices. Adults have to book onto a course. Very rarely do the sailers go down river of Lambeth Bridge because of the currents, river traffic and other obstacle - pontoons moorings etc, but the canoeists often go to Tower Bridge and paddle back through central London to Pimlico. They also go the other way - to Putney. Trips depend on the currents, tides and the paddling skills of the group.
Their number is 020 - 7821 7389. I know them well as I am one of their volunteer instructors.
So if anyone's interested - it's great fun and a very unique way to see London!
The small strip of sand near Tower Bridge used to be our costa de sol when we were small!... we would swim from the old steps near the custom house, there used to be a wooden jetty there. When a boat or tug went downstream the wash would cause you to bob and almost smash into the old wooden timbers.....
We all must have had tremendously strong immune systems when you think how filthy it was then, we swallowed half a gallon each swim...and was never ill, sick or nowt.. A Dutch ship used to moor there and I can remember the seamen telling us to get out of the water before they departed...funnily enough I can even remember the name of it...The Oranjepolder!
As a child growing up in 'The Borough' I always loved being near the river, I would have loved the chance of canoeing then, unfortunately the nearest we got to nautical life as such was the one of the Pleasure Boats, was it the Royal Daffodil? or jumping the barges from the wall onto the river at Bankside, lethal if you missed your footing and the barge bobbed back as you jumped, I think God must have smiled on us kids those days!