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.

Trolley good news

Members of the Thames Anglers Conservancy

Although I’ve never been a fishermen, several of my friends who are tell me that I’m missing a great way to relax and unwind – and given that fishermen spend a lot of their lives gazing at a float on the surface of the river surrounded by beautiful countryside and the sound of the birds singing, I can certainly understand the attraction.

Tackling a strong eddy


Ron Stevens has contacted me from his home in Ashford to pass on a lovely story based on a would-be angling trip he experienced in 1942 whilst he was working as a Corporal Vehicle Mechanic serving with the Royal Army Service Corps in Feltham.

Moor and peace

Its been something of a busy year in the Smith household – what with my son starting a new job, my daughter announcing that she is going to get married next February (requiring attendance at wedding shows and help with the planning of receptions etc), the hot water tank in our house deciding to leak copiously all over the place…

Stop fishing on the river

As regular readers of this column will know, I’ve written a number of times about the problems of illegal fishing on the Thames and its tributaries in our area – and despite increased vigilance from the Environment Agency, it has clearly not gone away.

Why it’s bare on the bank

A few weeks back, I wrote an article highlighting the anger of a number of local people about the Environment Agency’s decision to cut down a lot of trees on the towpath of the Surrey bank of the Thames near Weybridge.

Fish stock depletion concern

I’m still receiving feedback following my columns about apparent problems with eastern European fishermen taking too many fish from the river – including an acknowledgement from the Environment Agency that this really is an issue.

Readers report illegal fishing

Several readers have been in touch following last week’s column about illegal fishing on our stretch of the Thames – and the one thing that most of you have told me is that it appears to be people of eastern European origin who are ignoring the rules.

Report those rogue anglers

The one thing that the majority of people who use the river for recreation have in common is a sense of responsibility – a desire to preserve the Thames and to safeguard its beauty for future generations.