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.

Bombing of the bridge

Ack-ack attack: The journey home from a dance at the Walton Playhouse in September 1940 proved quite hairy for Jimmy, left, and Billy Brant, but fortunately they lived to tell the tale.

But brothers Billy and Jeremy and their brave young aunt were undaunted by German pilot's attack

Restoration of historic fireboat

Massey Shaw

As most readers will know, I’m a big fan of historic boats of all kinds – everything from Thames sailing barges, through classic ‘gentleman’s yachts’ of the 1920s and 30s right through to Royal Navy warships.

Dunkirk spirit of heroic Little Ships

Dunkirk Little Ships

Tribute to boats that rescued trapped soldiers from under Hitler's nose

Learning to swim in the River Thames

From Tumblin Bay Weir to Desborough Cut, readers relive their memories of splashing around in the river for fun or with classes of youngsters from schools in the area

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.

Walk yourself better

News of a couple of riverside walks taking place in the near future is top of the agenda this week.

Skating on thick ice

Amateur meteorologist Harry Kershaw from Manchester reckons this winter could be the coldest for 270 years and he says the Thames may freeze over. Judging from the weather over the last couple of weeks, he may not be too far out.