A big thank you to all – Riverwatch returns
Apologies folks for the lack of recent reports from the river. This old boy took a tumble and found himself upstream at Lewisham Hospital for a two-week stint investigating my damaged coxis (that’s the base of my back – not fun for an eighty-year-old).
Now I’m back on duty but taking things easy. I was indeed fortunate to find myself on the top floor of the new wing of Lewisham Hospital, which overlooks Ladywell fields with its delightful riverside situation wedged between. The view was upstream of the Ravensbourne and its valley-like location, with tall trees, tennis courts and landscaped surroundings all the way down to Deptford Bridge and Docklands beyond (too far away to sketch!!).
It has been an eerie return as my stretch of the Thames has never been so quiet – little or no commercial traffic, the occasional PLA and Police patrol boat, a fire float and rib lifeboat disturbing the majesty of Canary Wharf sky scrapers half empty, but signs of residential refuges behind cosy homes as their lights twinkle, all reflected in the still, still tideway – uncanny!! Not an airliner to be seen queueing for landing at LHR or London City airports.
Marvellous spring-like weather encouraged a Chelsea launch cruise down – a classic design of yesteryear. Also to report a small flotilla of tugs heading upstream with a chunk of brow off to a new pier landing stage – no doubt able to navigate with ease through forlorn upstream bridges all bereft of any maritime activity. But joy of joys, sailing barge ‘May’ of Maldon (the Essex base of such elegant craft) fully refurbished for a new season of hope on our local waterways.