There’s always something new on the River

Harwich tug

The trim but powerful tug ‘Haven Supporter’ from Harwich was heading downstream with a loaded civil engineers barge in tow and sporting ‘Livetts logo superimposed on her bridge.

I took this incentive to phone Chris Livett, an old friend whose family had been watermen for many a year. He brightly informed me that they were removing the last of the scaffolding which has clad Blackfriars Bridge while a new cross river station had been recently been completed. His dad had owned a Thames Tug for many years but nowadays they are few and far between hence Chris’s chartering of this Harwich workhorse.

The new Blackfriars Rail Station is now accessible from both City and Southwalk banks. Alongside the North Bank one is able to catch the recently launched commuter ferry service up to Putney calling at Embankment, Cadogan, Chelsea Harbour, Wandsworth and Putney.

Blackfriars Bridge

These piers are new to the highly efficient Thames Clippers using the smaller ‘river bus’ craft. (Connections can be made to the regular fast service at Embankment.)

Peter Kent commuter ferry

The first upstream ferry leaves at 06.30 up till 09.15 and takes about 40mins. Return commuter service leaves Putney at 17.15 with a half hourly service to 19.15 I look forward to making this trip but I must recommend the conventional tripper service from Westminster up to Kew, Richmond and Hampton Court – an annual summer treat (we sometimes return by train via Waterloo) For a change return by the old North London line which is now part of the London Overground service to Richmond from Stratford. Kew can also be reached by this fascinating tube line which circumnavigates the northern parts of the capital. The new ‘walk through’ rolling stock with its seating on the side alas gives one a neck ache!! However the unusual views are rewarding.
Take care as the DLR gives you a choice of lines at the Stratford interchange which is now a major transport link with the Jubilee and Central lines and , of course, the main line to the Essex coast and on into East Anglia proper. Armed with my travel card one can explore these new and reactivated cross river rail links which provide stunning views of Docklands and the Olympic complex which was so alive this time last year – hope everything is still running for you…


tube map

To break the journey visit the buffet pub on Kew Station  or find the ‘Blackfriar’ – an architectural treasure just across the road in Queen Street/New Bridge St – very apt!!

About RiverWatch returns

Peter Kent shares his Thames riverside studio viewpoint

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