Eagles by the Thames
I ENJOYED READING Neil Barnett’s letter ( CB, Apr) regarding using his boat to get to Birmingham City Football Club. It reminded me of a trip I made a few years ago.
I had tickets to see the American rock band The Eagles, who were appearing at Twickenham Rugby Stadium. Having checked that the Thames tides were okay – not perfect, but acceptable – we decided to make the trip by water.
We left our home mooring in East London on Saturday morning and we were at Limehouse to lock out at midday as the Thames was on its final ebb.
What I hadn’t realised was that the trip coincided with the Queen’s official birthday and Trooping of the Colour. As we passed under Tower Bridge, we were aware that a Gun Salute was taking place at the Tower of London. As we sailed past, close to the cannons, they fired (thankfully blank shells) over the top of us. Next, we were approached by the river police, to check whether we were up to no good. Happy that we intended no harm, we were allowed to proceed on our way, just as the flypast for the Queen’s birthday went overhead.
We made good progress as the flood tide caught up with us, but that didn’t stop us running aground in mid-channel outside Fulham’s football stadium, much to the amusement of the (then) manager who gave us a wave. After ten slightly embarrassing minutes, we floated off and were underway again, up to Teddington.
Twickenham Stadium is a short walk from Teddington, and we had a great evening at the concert, followed by a glass or two of wine on the front deck when we got back.
Next morning, we found ourselves in the middle of a boat gathering, raising money for the RNLI. Sadly, we couldn’t stay as we had to catch the ebb tide to get us back to East London. The return trip was uneventful and we were back home by early evening.
An amazing weekend, which will live long in the memory.