The Thames springs to life again
The first flotilla of yachts inbound head upstream after the completion of the shutdown, heading for Central London marinas. Oh yes, our loved riversides are open again. The Kents celebrated by lunching at Frank Dowling’s Trafalgar Tavern, watching waves pushing the tide up. What a treasure house of maritime art surrounds us as we admire his lush dining rooms. Riverside views and through to spanking new kitchens with chefs back at work!! Frank – a New Yorker – fell in love with Greenwich while working over in Canary Wharf constructing two skyscrapers. He decided to persue further enterprises over here with great imagination. The narrow Crane Street entrance gives you a hint of what’s to be seen throughout his refurbished landmark, and a hint of further development here abouts.
Life certainly has returned to the leisure industry as tripper boats return. The newly rebranded City Cruises bring tourists back into Greenwich, while the speedy fast ferries have extended their routes both up and downstream through the Barrier and up to Battersea, also with a rebranded fleet of Uber Boats – aka Thames Clippers – all repainted in sharp new black and white, each identified with a different coloured flash on the bow.
Likewise rebranding is to be found in the freight trade, with strong fleet colour identification – even the rubbish lighter containers have been spruced up, as well as the water bowser and buck minerals lighters and bright orange tugs, the bright yellow giant crane barge from Holland and a foreign inbound coaster on a repeat visit from the continent.
Also Livetts Launches, with their luxurious paddle steamers and fashionable traditional launches have diversified beyond guest care into the provision of film and television support craft, and knowhow to supply the most sophisticated requirements. And many traditional boatmen have also diversified into supplying tugs, lighters and cranes to the civil engineers working on the new rail extension and the ever-demanding super sewer tunnelling and disposing spoil up and down the river and out into the estuary and beyond. Much for Riverwatch to report!! Your splendid tideway awaits!!!