Talk:Eel Pie Island’s Boatyards at Richmond upon Thames

Talk, Wed 1 - Thu 30 Sep 2021

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Richmond Local Studies


London Borough of Richmond upon Thames,

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Keeping London afloat for over a century. Eel Pie Island is the largest inhabited island in the London section of the Thames. Perhaps most famous for its iconic 'Eelpiland Club' - a ballroom venue for jazz and rock musicians in the 1950s and 1960s, including the Rolling Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd - the island’s historic working boatyards continue to this day to play a vital strategic role in keeping London’s river craft afloat.

From the 1800s onwards, ramshackle huts and yards were built on the island. Many of these structures still exist today. Some now house residences and offices. But, significantly for London’s “Blue Ribbon Network” - the Thames - four of the only 15 or so working boatyards remaining between Teddington and Wapping continue to operate on Eel Pie Island.

The story of the island’s boatyards past and present, spanning three centuries, takes us on a journey filled with maverick entrepreneurs, skilled craftsmen and river workers who have all helped support the watery lifeline upon which London is built.

Escalating land prices have put boatyard sites under increased pressure from developers looking to create housing or offices with views of the Thames. The few yards that do remain are thriving as the resources they provide become increasingly harder to find. Boats can only exist on a river if the boatyards to repair and maintain them also exist, and the Thames without boats is unimaginable.

Event details

Dates Times
Wed 1 - Thu 30 Sep 2021


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Also see


See location of Richmond upon Thames on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: TQ 180749  Lat: 51.46121 Long: -0.30180

Depending on the given area.
Tube stations within the borough: Kew Gardens and Richmond
South West Train stations: Barnes, Barnes Bridge, Mortlake, North Sheen, Richmond, St Margarets, Twickenham, Strawberry Hill, Teddington, Fulwell, Hampton, Hampton Court, Hampton Wick, Whitton.
Fast trains from London Waterloo to Richmond and Twickenham, via Clapham Junction. Semi-fast trains also stop at Putney. All stations are served by slow trains from London Waterloo.