The Thames Heritage Alliance is a new organisation that hopes to become the voice for those concerned to protect and promote the heritage and of the Thames – including its historic maritime sites, boatyards and so on.
It’s still a tiny acorn – but from tiny acorns might oaks frequently grow, and I hope this one does exactly that.
It’s sorely needed. As we have seen at Faversham, Brightlingsea and elsewhere, the heritage of The Thames is under threat as never before from commercial and residential development and anything messy and noisy – such as working boatyards – being driven out, not least because they can’t compete when waterside property values are sky-high.
The Alliance says that the Thames’s historic boatyards, slipways, quays, wharves and docks were a crucial part of Britain’s remarkable maritime history. From the time of the Tudors – especially King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth – right through to Lord Nelson and Winston Churchill – sailors and boat-builders along the great River Thames have contributed so much to our national defence and pride.
By linking some of these rare and historic places together, the Thames Heritage Alliance hopes to drawing attention to their importance, and to help them survive in the age of high-rise and high-price property development.
The Alliance’s founding members are working to protect Faversham Creek, Convoy’s Wharf at Deptford and the historic waterfront at Northfleet.