Retrospective 2022

A look back at some of my last year’s Thames-side pictures…

A photo gallery of some favourite pictures from the months of 2022.

January: Robin guarding its territory in Victoria Tower Gardens.
January: The newly restored clock face of the Elizabeth Tower better known as
Big Ben. Such a beautiful and skilled restoration.
February: A strange pink light over Lambeth Bridge and London, that many caught on camera.
February: Favourite herring gull Bonzo, appearing for food, I imagine but quite relaxed when there was none.
March: Flowering tree in Victoria Tower Gardens.
March: Metropolitan Police launch SIR ROBERT PEEL II, moving swiftly upstream along Lambeth Reach.
April: Young seal enjoying a rest on a Palace of Westminster marker. Released from the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre, one of two, named either Flash Dance or Twerk.
April: M.V CONNAUGHT, of Colliers Launches, with a full cargo of passengers. She was making daily trips upstream from Westminster Pier to various destinations, all through the summer months.
May: The London Eye bright against a rain-bearing cloud.
May: M.V. LONDON ROSE turning on Lambeth Reach.
June 2nd: The Red Arrows flying across the Thames towards Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
June: Port of London harbour service vessel BARNES heading past the parliamentary bars of the Palace of Westminster.
July: Marine Support Thames’ Safety and workboat PROWLER.
July: Old and new, upstream from Lambeth Bridge.
August: Victoria Tower Gardens parched as a dessert during this summer’s drought and heatwave.
August. RNLI Thames Lifeboats DOUGIE AND DONNA B, based at Chiswick RNLI station and HEARN MEDICINE CHEST, based at Tower, cruising upstream along Lambeth reach.

The most important historical event of 2023 was the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, bringing to an end the longest reign of a British monarch. We were away for most of September and so missed the events taking place around the funeral, including the Thames Reflections flotilla, transformed from a Platinum Jubilee celebration into a “Tribute by the river community marking the passing of Her Majesty the Queen and the accession of King Charles III.” You can see the beautifully made Livett’s film, marking the occasion of the first illuminated flotilla to be held on the Thames for three hundred years, by clicking here.

September: The Shard about to pierce clouds above.
September: Leaf shadows on the Victoria Tower Gardens’ plane trees.
October: Big Ben seeking the spotlight.
October: The Seafarers’ Memorial, Albert Embankment.
November: New Thames fire rescue boat TANNER.
November: Wreath on the Palace of Westminster railings beside P.C. Keith Palmer’s memorial.
December: A misty, wintery Lambeth Bridge from Victoria Tower Gardens.
December: Victoria Tower Gardens in the first snowfall of winter.

End Notes
There are a number of photographers regularly posting and sharing their images of the tidal Thames on Twitter. Here are just a few of them to give you a broader idea of the constant changes of weather, passing vessels and views.

Ruth Wadey: @ruths_gallery To see beautiful clouds, sunrises and sunsets over the Thames at Twickenham.

Kristi Tange: @KristiTange To see, apart from others, Hammersmith Bridge in its many guises.

Emily: @emilyjanelovell To see a variety images of the Greenwich Peninsular.

Andrew Christy: @AJBC_1 To see a different ships visiting London and the Docks also interesting photos on river events such as the preparation for the NYE fireworks and new RNLI Tower station.

Kristen Atkinson: @Krispen_Ships To see ships along the Thames and further afield.

Fraser Grey: @FraserG32883664 To see pictures of larger ships passing too and from Tilbury .

Ian Tokelove: @iantokelove To see wild places along the Thames and the Estuary.

Psychojographer: @psychojography To see places, awakening the imagination around the Thames Estuary and beyond.

See also ‘From the River’ a collection of photographs by Wal Daly-Smith

A 12-day Thames Christmas reverie…

…to be sung to the traditional tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” as best you can, as my scansion and alliteration aren’t great…

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me: a Port of London vessel on the Thames.

Port of London Authority vessel BARNES.

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me: two fireboats ready and a Port of London vessel on the Thames.

Fire rescue boats FIRE DART and TANNERr at their Lambeth River base.

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me: three Tower crew, two fireboats ready and a Port of London vessel on the Thames.

Tower RNLI crew on a shout with with HEARN MEDICINE CHEST.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: four sleepy cruisers, three Tower crew, two fireboats ready, and a Port of London vessel on theThames.

Four cruise boats resting: MERCURIA, AVONTUUR IV, SAPELE and another, possibly MERCIA.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: five Chelsea lanterns – four sleepy cruisers, three Tower crew, two fireboats ready, and a Port of London vessel on the Thames.

Joseph Bazalgette’s elegant lamps along the Chelsea Embankment.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: six bright balloons – five Chelsea lanterns – four sleepy cruisers, three Tower crew, two fireboats ready, and a Port of London vessel on the Thames.

Six sparkling balloons for sale on the South Bank.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: seven sandy castles, six bright balloons – five Chelsea lanterns – four sleepy cruisers, three Tower crew, two fireboats ready, and a Port of London vessel on the Thames.

Seven aggregate sandcastles side-towed by a GPS tug.

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: eight rowers rowing, seven sandy castles, six bright balloons – five Chelsea lanterns – four sleepy cruisers, three Tower crew, two fireboats ready, and a Port of London vessel on the Thames.

Eight rowers rowing guided by their cox.

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: nine marina marvels, eight rowers rowing, seven sandy castles, six bright balloons – five Chelsea lanterns – four sleepy cruisers, three Tower crew, two fireboats ready, and a Port of London vessel on the Thames.

Nine boats moored at St. Katharine Docks.

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: ten kayakers kayaking, nine marina marvels, eight rowers rowing, seven sandy castles, six bright balloons – five Chelsea lanterns – four sleepy cruisers, three Tower crew, two fireboats ready, and a Port of London vessel on the Thames.

Ten kayakers kayaking.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: eleven Watermen’s cutters, ten kayakers kayaking, nine marina marvels, eight rowers rowing, seven sandy castles, six bright balloons – five Chelsea lanterns – four sleepy cruisers, three Tower crew, two fireboats ready, and a Port of London vessel on the Thames.

Eleven cutters in the Royal Tudor Pull flotilla, June 11, 2022.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: twelve gleaming baubles, eleven Watermen’s cutters, ten kayakers kayaking, nine marina marvels, eight rowers rowing, seven sandy castles, six bright balloons – five Chelsea lanterns, – four sleepy cruisers, three Tower crew, two fireboats ready, and a Port of London vessel on the Thames.

Twelve Christmas baubles

And the dream ended as I awoke…

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Thank you for joining me here. Wishing you a happy Christmas and a happier 2023 than last year.