Monday, 18 July 2016

On the Thames .............. home thoughts from abroad

Now I grew up not far from the river and I have never lost my fascination for it.

Not that this is some romantic twee nostalgic piece.

The Thames even when I was growing up in the 1950s was a busy, dirty, and sometimes very smelly place and the jobs it offered up could be hard, dangerous and were not always well paid.

Today it is pretty empty but I it still has a power to set my imagination off.

It starts with that smell, a mix of ozone and whatever is floating by, and continues with childhood memories of playing down by that stretch of sand at the Tower of London or that other bit at Greenwich in front of the Naval College.

But best of all were the nights we spent down by the Cutty Sark pub in the late 1960s.

On warm summer evenings we sat on that small but of wall opposite the pub and watched as the river did its business, and most magical of all was hearing the noise of the barges slowly banging together from the wake of some boat heading up towards the city.

Nothing more complicated than that.  Sitting in the shadow of the old power station listening to that sound along with all the others and just enjoying the moment.

And for bringing back those memories I have Bill Sumner to thank for posting this picture postcard.

I don’t have a date but the sailing vessels and the old steamer will anchor it sometime in the late 19th or early 20th centuries.

Added to which it is a Judge postcard and somewhere I have their catalogue.

But for now I will just leave it at that, and make that obvious comment that for a south east London lad it’s got the added bonus that it was taken from our side of the river.

Location; the River Thames

Picture; London, St Pauls’ from Bankside, date unknown the Judge Company, from the collection of Bill Sumner

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