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A study group set up after the controversy over lock staffing on the non-tidal Thames  was meeting for the first time this week (July 30th).

It follows plans announced last year to cut the number of residential lock-keepers and lease up to nine lock-side houses.

Protests from river users followed and concerns were raised in Parliament.
It led to a high-level meeting between the Thames Users’ Group and Environment Agency chairman Lord Smith.

As a result it was decided to let just five houses on a trial basis and but designate a  full-time lock keeper, although not in residence, at the locks concerned.

The study group is jointly chaired by Simon Hughes from the Environment Agency  and Michael Shefras of the Users’ Group.

It has a wider brief than merely the lock plans and covers the future sustainability of the river.

An EA statement said: "The group will examine aspects of the management and operation of our lock sites, comparing those with resident lock and weir keepers against those without. Lord Smith has capped the letting of vacant lock houses to five, until further notice. "

The first meeting was held July 30th and there will be three more before a report to Lord Smith in April 2013.

Story dated July 30th 2012




London’s Regent’s Canal is hosting a colourful Floating Market close to the Olympic Park. 

Barges and narrowboats are at Mile End Park to ply their trades, selling everything from cakes and books (pictured above) hats to vintage frocks and handicrafts.  There is plenty of food on offer with sausages, Slovakian food and sandwiches keeping visitors well fed.

Until August 16th the Floating Market will be trading in Mile End in East London on the Regent’s Canal, just a mile away from the Olympic Stadium.  The Regent’s Canal is a designated official Olympic walking and cycling route and Victoria Park, a short stroll from the market, is one of the official Live Sites. 

The Floating Market will move to the Little Venice in West London from August 20th to 2 September 2nd for duration of the Paralympic Games and for the August Bank Holiday. 

Jon Guest, London waterway manager at Canal & River Trust, said:  “This summer thousands of visitors from all over the world are going to discover the wildlife and heritage havens that run through the heart of London. 

"The Floating Market brings together traditional narrowboats and customised barges offering books, handicrafts, fashion and a whole variety of food.  The Regent’s Canal is really an exciting place to visit, whether you’re passing by on your way to the London 2012 Games or if you want a fun afternoon out with friends and family.”

Pics: Thames SC

Over 200 hundred people attended Thames Sailing Club's Have a Go Open Day – and 100 took to the water under sail despite challenging river conditions..

The event was part of the Royal Yacht Association's Sail for Gold programme, a nationwide initiative designed to showcase sailing and show support for members of the London 2012 British Olympic and Paralympic Sailing teams.

Over the course of the day a  team of volunteers from the club helped over 100 visitors 'Have a Go' at sailing on the River Thames at Surbiton.  For many, it was their first time on a sailing boat.

Each  session lasted around 20 minutes and visitors of all ages were given the opportunity to sail in a variety of boats including four of the world-famous Thames A-Raters (pictured right above).

Club leader, David Dixson said: “The event was a great success and is definitely something we intend to repeat next year.  We are delighted to be involved in the RYA’s ‘Sail for Gold’ initiative and thrilled that we were able to introduce so many local people to the sport of river sailing.

" Like all of the river sports clubs in this area, we have huge growth potential and we are always looking for new members”.
Thames is located next to Harts Boatyard in Surbiton and was founded in 1870 making it Britain's oldest river sailing club.  It is home to both the Thames A-Rater class of sailing boat and Kingston University Sailing Club.

People who missed Open Day can still have a go at sailing by emailing or calling or texting  075 3838 7272.

Link to club website


Tower Bridge has hosted its first live music concert. Over 500 people went to the premiere of Samuel Bordoli’s ‘Live Music Sculpture’ on the high-level walkways that span the Thames.

Seven rowers from Thames are in the women's eight squad for the Olympics. They are: Louisa Reeve (Leander Club) Jessica Eddie (Univ of London BC), Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford), Annabel Vernon, Katie Greves and Victoria Thornley (all Leander), and cox Caroline O'Connor (Oxford Brookes Univ BC). Both sweep spares Jo Cook and Emily Taylor are also from Leander.

A 130 metre-long tapestry made by 60,000 children from schools along the river and telling the story of the Thames has been unveiled at St Paul's Cathedral.

London’s largest solar panel installation on the roof of the new Blackfriars station spanning the river has reached the half way point. The 2200th solar panel out of a total of 4400 has been installed on the station roof.

A restored narrowboat is making a 100th birthday journey across the canal network from the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port to the London Canal Museum. Ilkeston is a horse-drawn narrow boat built in 1912, which has been restored by boatyard staff, volunteers and trainees at the Cheshire museum.

Boatshed Inland have been appointed brokers at British Waterways / C&RT Marinas including Limehouse Basin and Poplar Dock.

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