Little ship left a big impression

I've often mentioned the activities of the waterways charity Thames21 in this column but I thought it might be helpful to take a closer look at the organisation’s background.

Travel in style on a steamer

The steam launch Alaska has been beautifully restored and is still offering trips on the Thames during the summer. She is now owned by Thames Steamers Ltd.

F YOU don’t own a boat, then for many people their only experience of getting out on the Thames is by taking a trip on a passenger launch. The heyday of the Thames passenger launches…

The ‘liquid history’ of our Old Father Thames

VE spent most of my life on, in or around the River Thames and it has never ceased to fascinate me – and occasionally I find myself pondering the question: Why? Sometimes I’ve heard people…

Memories of a magical – if nerve-wracking – time

VE ALWAYS loved the pleasure boats that carry passengers up and down the Thames and I wrote in a recent column that as a youngster in the 1950s I used to enjoy watching the…

For whom the Belle tolls

Heaven and Belle: She has been gracing our waters since 1894 but the beautiful steam launch SL Belle could be sunk unless a new owner is quickly found.

I've always had a real soft spot for historic ships and boats. Vessels that hark back to an era when Britain really did rule the waves and when craftsmanship was something to be proud of rather than regarded as old-fashioned.

From a mystery tunnel to dredging the Thames

How much longer will this go on? The Thames at Chertsey covering Dumsey Meadow

Last week, I told the story about Doug Millsom and his friends who, as youngsters, used to play around a tunnel that emerged on the bank of Desborough Island and asked whether any readers knew its history.

Fisherman need friends – and some bigger nets

My old mate Doug ‘the ancient angler’ Millsom called me up this week to chide me for ignoring his fellow fishermen.

Turbulence of the Thames

Walton Bridge

For those living close to the river, the past few weeks must have been an absolute nightmare.

Search goes on for news of Home Guard member

Is this Phil McCarthy? Standing to the right of this photo of the victorious Viola FC is the man known to the team as 'Captain Mac' . Pat Chimes (third from left in the middle row) wondered if this was Dinah Ballantyne's dad

A couple of weeks back I wrote about Phil McCarthy, the father of a lady called Dinah Ballantyne, who was a member of the Home Guard given the responsibility for protecting Penton Hook Lock during the dark days of the Second World War.

Home Guards’ ‘Mac’ was the guardian of the lock

One of the things I love most about writing this column is that every now and again I’m contacted by someone with a lovely story to tell connected to our stretch of the Thames.