LAST week I wrote about the Richmond Venturer, the converted Dutch barge operated by the charity the River Thames Boat Project. It runs trips up and down the river aimed at introducing the beauties of the Thames to groups and individuals who may not otherwise have had the opportunity fully to appreciate the river.
The programme includes educational activities for schools, respite trips for young carers, day and residential trips for people with disabilities and for older people.
By coincidence, I’ve now learned that one of the charities supporters, Hampton artist Sue Bailey, has decided to mark the 21st anniversary of the boat project by walking the length of the Thames path from the source to the Thames Barrier to raise money for the charity.
During her 184-mile hike, Sue will be stopping regularly to sketch and paint the sights that greet her along the Thames as a lasting record of her journey.
Her support barge, Angelus, which is actually Sue’s floating home, will be accompanying her on her walk as will photographer Pamela Chapman-Burrell. As she wends her way towards the Tideway, the paintings and drawings from her trip will be available for viewing aboard the Angelus.
River Thames Boat Project manager Miranda Jaggers is delighted with the support the charity is receiving from Sue.
“It’s a wonderful thing to do – and I’m hoping that lots of people will take an interest and support Sue on her marathon walk,” she said. “I just hope she doesn’t end up with too many blisters!”
Obviously, Sue can’t put exact times on when she will be passing through our area – but if you see her on the towpath between Egham and Thames Ditton during the next couple of weeks, do say hello and take a look at her artwork.
If you’d like to contribute towards Sue Bailey’s riverside walk and help raise funds for this excellent charity, you can donate online by going to www.justgiving.com/richmondventurer.
To find out more about the River Thames Boat Project, visit www.thamesboatproject.org.
EARLIER this year, I covered the history of the Walton Yacht Company based on the Shepperton bank of the river just by Walton Bridge. That article has prompted one reader, Terry Woodruff to get in touch asking whether anyone has information about a prototype air sea rescue launch built by the company for the RAF around 1942-3. Unfortunately, the RAF decided not to order production quantities of the launch but it was of a fairly revolutionary design and Terry is trying to build a scale model of the boat. He tells me that photographs and drawings of the launch are extremely hard to come by and wonders if any Herald readers remember the boat in question.