Guiding lights since the days of King Henry VIII

Light Through a Lens tells the story of Trinity House, the corporation responsible for the lighthouses and navigation buoys that surround the British coast.

I suppose it’s not surprising that someone like me who loves messing about in boats – either on the river or at sea – has a corresponding interest in the workings of the Corporation of Trinity House.

Set sail on a new pastime

Exploring the Thames Wilderness

Ashford's Queen Mary Sailing Club pushes the boat out with dinghy for aspiring disabled sailors

Ties that bind man and boat

One of the things I’ve always loved about boating is the fascinating array of skills that it has engendered. That includes everything from basic seamanship to weather prediction, from understanding how a diesel engine works to finding the correct technique for sculling.

Time to research Stuart’s guide to our resurgent canals

Canals of Britain

For those of us who love messing about on boats, we normally have favourite stretches of waterway where we love to spend time.

Learning how not to sail

Learn to Sail

It’s no secret that I’m a complete sailing addict and have been for most of my life.

Key to unlocking lock dilemma

Mark Chisnell’s book Sailing Gold

As regular readers of this column will be aware, I’ve often expressed doubts about the Environment Agency’s decision not to replace resident lock keepers on the Thames and to rent out their empty houses to the public.

It’s well worth a little dip into the UK’s waterways


Authors have written books about rivers for hundreds of years – and that’s simply because waterways are fascinating subjects, having played a major role in the development of our towns and cities, agriculture, industry, trade and, in more recent decades, leisure and relaxation.

A boat owner’s ABC

AC-BTMA-Boat Maint Bible_JCKT.indd

How many times, as a boat owner, have you stood and puzzled over a technical dilemma?

Prize-fighting puzzler

I’m always delighted when readers get in touch to share their memories of the River Thames – and I owe a major debt of gratitude to Brian Griffiths of Burgoyne Road, Sunbury who was clearing out his loft and found a number of books about the river which he very kindly brought into the Herald office thinking they might be of interest.

Book for a rainy day

Encyclopedia of Weather and Climate Change

One of the most frustrating things about planning a day out on the river (or the sea for that matter) is that you can arrange everything to your liking with one notable exception – the weather.