Photographs by Anna Kunst
Chiswick Pier was opened in 1997 and has a thriving community of boat dwellers living on converted working boats including a North Sea trawler, a Thames Lighter Barge, a Dutch sailing barge (a tjalk) and a prefab craned on to a pontoon. There are eight residential moorings in all. The Pier is also home to the Chiswick Canoe Club and the RNLI Chiswick lifeboat, which is the second busiest lifeboat station in the whole of the UK and Ireland.
The pier is run by Chiswick Pier Trust, based at Pier House, a charity which manages the commercial and residential moorings at the Pier and works to engage people’s interest in the River Thames. They organise boat trips, talks and social events, such as the Mother’s Day Cruise in March, the Party on the Pier in July, Summer Jazz Cruise and Fireworks Cruise in November. The pier is an excellent vantage point from which to view the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race and the Great River Race. From Pier House you can see to Hammersmith Bridge to the east and almost to Barnes Railway Bridge to the west and if you’re on the pier itself, it’s as if you were beside the boats in the river, cheering them on.
Party on the Pier, photographs by Anna Kunst
The programme of talks organised by Chiswick Pier Trust ranges from the history of Frost Fairs on the River Thames to the work of French Impressionist painter Jean Claude Monet, who painted the river many times. They cover the history, archaeology, social life, wildlife and ecology of the Thames and take place usually on the last Tuesday of the month.
Scroll down to watch The Chiswick Calendar’s videos on the annual Mother’s Day cruise on the Thames from Chiswick Pier; the annual Party on the Pier; how women rowers made history racing on the Tideway in 2015; the 75th anniversary of the evacuation of Dunkirk, in which a number of small ships from round here took part; the RNLI’s alternative Boat Race – rubber duck racing; Samuel Leigh’s Panorama of the Thames and Caitlin Moran’s book on Wild Swimming.
Mother’s Day cruise on the Thames
Nick Raikes goes on a rather wet and windy cruise to Westminster and back aboard the Queen Elizabeth.
Party on the Pier
Every summer Chsiwick Pier Trust throws a party, with free boat trips, stalls, activities for children, a Fulller’s bar and a barbeque. Every year there’s live music from Shenanigans.
Women’s Boat Race
Women rowers made history in 2015, racing on the Tideway for the first time in the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. Previously the Women’s race had been held at Henley.
75th anniversary of the evacuation of Dunkirk, 2015
Boats from Chiswick and Brentford were among the 800 or so ‘small ships’ which took part in the rescue of Allied Troops from Dunkirk.
The RNLI ‘Alternative Boat Race’
The Lifeboat charity held an Alternative Boat Race in April 2015, raising money by asking people to bet on rubber duck racing. It was fun!
The Panorama of the Thames
In Vicorian times the tourist boats which went up and down the Thames had hand painted watercolour guides of the river, which folded out to a great length. A couple have spent years recreating Samuel Leigh’s 1829 panorama of the Thames, with modern photography.
Author Caitlin Davies on ‘wild swimming’
Wild swimming in the Thames is not everybody’s cup of tea, what with the strong tides, the cold and possibility of a mouthful of sewage. But Caitlin Davies swears by it, and has written a history on the subject.
How to get to Chiswick Pier:
The Pier, Corney Reach Way, London, W4 2UG is at Corney Reach by the complex of modern houses and apartments between Duke’s Meadows and Chiswick Mall, accessible from the A316 Burlington Lane by Grantham Rd, at the end of the E3 bus route.
Other organisations based at Pier House are Chiswick Sea Cadets, the Canoe Club, RNLI and Thames Explorer Trust.
This page has been paid for by Chiswick Pier Trust
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