The sounds of summer

Waking early to the subdued sound of ‘blades’ being fitted to the quod skiff on our little beach exposed between the tides, four enthusiasts from the Curlew Club were tuning up before the exciting regattas, be they at Henley or even Peterborough on the Nene. Rowing has taken place just here for donkeys’ years, well before the next door’s Trafalgar Rowing Centre was opened. Once rivermen competed from Corbett’s boat house where we now live, and a wide selection of craft were here to hire. Do you remember adjacent floating pontoons which once lay off here and off the Trafalgar Tavern too?


Look at the waterfront of yesteryear. Our house is all that remains – a very different scene indeed. But Curlew and Globe clubs are still based here in an adjacent club house and a newish boat house close to the impressive Watergate to keep the tides at bay. Rowing on the tideway is full of challenges, especially when speedy craft pass by. A keen weather eye is also essential and liaison with the Port Authorities too – especially when visibility is poor.


The fairly new club house (next door) is a delight – a sensitive upgrade provides a wonderful party venue which keeps us awake when bands boom out and tipsy punters pour into Crane Street full of farewell bonhomie.

Keen rowing member Carol Kenna has a fun photo exhibition here with Steve Lobb’s paintings as part of Greenwich Open Studios. Their contribution to riverside murals and the like through the years should be recognised as they decorated numerous bomb sites in the Royal Borough and created Deptford’s riverside park for young and old. Alas their innovative Twinkle Park pond has escaped – poor moorhens!

The Kents, however, are off to Marlowe for a family 21st at a riverside venue. So guess what – we will go early and take tea at the Contented Angler just across the iconic bridge. That weekend is a chance to see the open garden at Ballast Quay – a riverside delight in dear old East Greenwich.

About RiverWatch returns

Peter Kent shares his Thames riverside studio viewpoint

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