Just one day along the Thames

London

London last week was a time for me to enjoy the grandchildren’s company in museums and in parks during fine autumn weather, and in making a Christmas cake. On Friday though, the weather forecast was foul. We planned to go to Greenwich briefly to buy things we couldn’t get locally, then hole up at home. We bought pumpkins which, closely supervised by the children, Tom later translated into faces (‘Happy face’, said Zoe: ‘Scary face’ said William. Tom seems to have wanted a face with a head full of gnashers.)

As we finished our list of jobs, the rain unexpectedly stopped, and we decided on a jaunt to the Thames Barrier, which I’d never seen. A walk though an industrial estate offered us gravel raining down from a conveyor belt …

… and soon we were on The Thames Path. I’m always thrilled by the river in the city. I love the juxtaposition of new and old – the airy skyscrapers filled with office workers, and city types wheeling and dealing: on the water below them, rusting rusting barges plodding up and down like Dirty British Coasters, as they’ve done for centuries.

Ahead was The Thames Barrier, a buffer against the threat of flooding in London and which I think of as being rather new. It’s not. Its fortieth birthday is next year. The header photograph was our first sighting. And here’s a gallery of views as we approached, passed it, and came back the other way.

Then we were on our way back, as clouds turned dirtier, greyer, and the rain started once more to fall. Here were the buildings of Canary Wharf and Central London, viewed across ancient wooden jetties.

The promised rain had returned as a deluge. We scurried home, had lunch, and turned our attention to making Horrid Hallowe’en Biscuits and Perturbing Pumpkins.

Amy asked us to share just one day from our week for Lens-Artists Challenge #172. I chose last Friday.

56 thoughts on “Just one day along the Thames

  1. What a great day! Lisa made cheesy bat biscuits and dark chocolate coffin cakes with white chocoale skulls. Takes all sorts! Love your look at the Thames Barrier. I’ve never seen it either. Happy weekend, Margaret!

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    1. Thanks Jo. Come to think, it could be a Monday Walk couldn’t it? Our biscuits were much simpler – think bats, pumpkins and ghosts. Happy Thursday – the weekend’s too far in the future for me yet – busy times!

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    1. I agree. Whether you choose the tourist sites such as Tower Bridge or the Houses of Parliament, or wander off down to Battersea or Woolwich, there’s always something of interest.

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  2. oh what a marvellous day you had – I have sailed through the barriers quite amazing. One of these days I will get myself organised and visit the visitor centre there, assuming it still exists

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  3. The Thames Barrier is certainly a photogenic piece of engineering as you have shown us. I see that it was built originally for a 1 in 100 event and yet has been used 200 in its near 40 years. Love the pumpkins especially Mr Toothy. Looks like there was a lot of digging out work going on there.

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      1. Thank you for the link. I feel very out of touch with London these days but even when I was visiting more regularly I doubt I would have considered Woolwich. Hopefully to be rectified ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  4. I’ve never seen the Barrier so close on land, only from a boat. I can’t believe it’s nearly 40 years old – like you I think of it as new! Sounds like a perfect family outing, despite the rain, and you got some super shots ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. What an enjoyable day, Margret! Thank you for the tour through your beautiful images, especially the Thames Barrier. The juxtaposition of new and old is wonderfully captured. Love how you ended your day.

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  6. Fab day! Iโ€™m with you on the juxtaposition of new and old on the riverโ€ฆ. The barrier I have never seen, so your images give me an idea

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  7. Sounds like a very happy day! I haven’t seen the Thames barrier either except in films, your photos are very good and the dark glowering sky is perfect against that silver. I was just saying to the OH yesterday that we should have a week in London at some point to take in all those free galleries and museums, and perhaps, now, a stroll along the Thames!

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  8. What an interesting day and none of it wasted! The barrier is such a brilliant piece of engineering. I remember the floods in September 1968 and on the worst day of all, a Sunday, I had a band rehearsal to get to at Woolwich Barracks. My father drove for miles through flooded streets and got us there safely and then back home to Bromley after the band practice. He was so calm; all I remember is seeing great sheets of water everywhere and not being scared (I was 10 years old). Ten years later, the first of my many jobs was for the GLC in the department that built and maintained the Barrier.

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    1. How interesting! I wasn’t in London at the time, so it made less of an impact on me. But playing at Woolwich Barracks in less stressful times must have been quite the experience. I quite took to Woolwich, the one time we went there. And then you got o be (more or less) in charge of the Barrier. Brilliant!

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  9. Sounds like you had a good time in London. The pumpkins are brilliant – I have never tried to carve one. When I was a child, we didn’t really celebrate Halloween in Denmark (actually, I don’t think Halloween is that big even today). I love the Thames as well and have seen the barrier. These days, it has become quite common for many of us who work in Canary Wharf to go by the riverbus instead of the tube ( a lot less crowded) but I often forget to look out of the window and just check messages or read.

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    1. Thanks. It’s lovely to hear from you from time to time – you seem to have virtually stopped blogging? That’s a shame, but life gets in the way sometimes.

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