TIDEFEST 2019 WAS THE BEST EVER !
Bigger crowds than ever came out to enjoy the river at this year’s Thames Tidefest held at Strand-on-the-Green in Chiswick and other locations along the Thames Tideway including Richmond, Twickenham, Brentford, Barnes and Kempton.
Local MP Ruth Cadbury joined Hounslow Council Leader Steve Curran and Deputy Mayor Raghwinder Siddhu along with the Mayor of Richmond Nancy Baldwin at the annual celebration of all the River Thames has to offer.
The organisers estimated attendance at well over two thousand people with many of the advertised events and trips sold out well in advance.
There were great activities for all the family including foreshore and photographic walks, angling competition, paddle-boarding, river dipping, kayaking, London Wildlife Trust’s wildlife walk to Syon Park, Kempton nature reserve visits, stalls and displays, circus workshop, bouncy castle, children’s games, live fish tanks, local artists, food, music and generous discounts off admissions to the London Museum of Water and Steam and the Musical Museum. There were special guided tours of Eel Pie Island Museum in Twickenham – the place which helped launch the careers of Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and many others in the 1960s
There were great activities for all the family including an angling competition, river dipping, kayaking, London Wildlife Trust’s wildlife walk to Syon Park, Kempton nature reserve visits, stalls and displays, circus workshop, bouncy castle, children’s games, live fish tanks, local artists, food, music and generous discounts off admissions to the London Museum of Water and Steam and the Musical Museum. There were special guided tours of Eel Pie Island Museum in Twickenham – the place which helped launch the careers of Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and many others in the 1960s
Other activities included:
• Boat trips around the Thames Tideway islands and to Chiswick Pier on the historic Thames launches Windrush and The Discoverer.
• Paddleboarding – supervised taster sessions for newcomers by Active 360 at Kew Bridge plus a guided family paddle trip
• Tour and exhibition on Thames Boatbuilding at the Lot’s Ait boatyard in Brentford – venue for the filming of the African Queen starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn
• Taster sessions for those new to kayaking organised from the Boating Arch at Kew Bridge by Edge Paddling
* Photography and Bird Walks led by local experts and two Foreshore Walks led by the well known ‘London Mudlark’ Lara Maiklem whose new book is proving something of a hit.
Once again plenty of fish were caught both by anglers fishing the annual Tidefest Championship and by fishery officers carrying out seine netting to show the wide variety of species that now live in the Thames in London. The competition winner was RAF instructor Michael Dalziel with an 18lb 8oz bag of skimmers caught on the swimfeeder with worm and maggot. Michael collected £600 in prize money and a handsome silver plate from Angling Trust Ambassador Keith Arthur.
Tidefest is now in its sixth year and aims to highlight the recreational importance of the Thames to Londoners and to encourage people to ‘enjoy the river’. It is part of the month long Totally Thames Festival and is sponsored by Thames Water, Fullers Smith & Turner
TideFest chairman, Martin Salter from the Angling Trust, said:
“We had a great programme of activities this year and were lucky with the weather which saw us attract our biggest ever Tidefest crowd. It was fabulous to see so many people enjoying the river and all it has to offer. We had a great reaction to the work that many of the Tidefest groups are doing to highlight the importance of the river and once again we are grateful for the excellent support we received from our local MPs, from our sponsors – Thames Water and Fullers and from and Hounslow Council.
Tidefest is all about helping Londoners to ‘reconnect with their river’ and that’s certainly what happened on Sunday.”