_ps23865So what is the “Arcadian Thames?” Well it’s probably the most beautiful, scenic and historic part of this remarkable river. Stretching from Chiswick to Weybridge it has the most historic houses and_ps23812 palaces on the river. It has waterworks, Breweries, boatyards, historic inns and pubs and more.  It’s used by sportsmen for walking, rowing, jogging, cycling and diving. People live and work on and around it.  It’s as vibrant a waterway now as it was in the previous two millennia, in fact the Thames has been central to English civilisation for over two thousand years.  Roman and pre roman remains have been found on the Arcadian Thames in places such as Brentford, but as interesting as the history is my new book and exhibition project,  River: life on The Arcadian Thames, will look at this great part of the country and it’s river today.

I already have the time and venue for the exhibition,  August 2017 at The Riverside Gallery in Richmond, so I’ve started collating existing materiel and shooting new images that are part of the grand plan to document the best part of my favourite river.  If you know of any activities on the river coming up between now and June ’17 that you think would look good in the book please let me know.  The first formal shoot just for the project, was with the crew (and dog) of the Teddington lifeboat, this maybe the furthest inland of the RNLI boats and it’s the 16th busiest in the UK.  The Thames keeps the lifeboat service busy, with four boats at Gravesend, Tower Pier, Chiswick and Teddington. In fact the busiest in the UK is the Tower Pier boat with Chiswick not far behind.  So even if you live inland, please don’t hesitate to donate to the RNLI, as you never know when you or yours may need them.

A percentage of the money raised from book and print sales will go to the Thames Landscape Strategy, the group responsible for preserving our great river and it’s heritage. They also co-ordinate various volunteer groups, originating many projects and helping with others.  I would like to thank Jason Debney, Rebecca Law and all the volunteers of TLS for all their help up ’til now and their continuing help with the project. As Sir Walter Raleigh said: “There are two things scarce matched in the universe the sun in heaven and the Thames on earth” Something I’ve always agreed with and hope to show with this project.

The crew of the RNLI Teddington Lifeboat and their dog. ©Paul Stewart 2016

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