Wednesday 18 January 2017
The Thames Foreshore at Vauxhall
Wednesday 18 January 2017, 11am prompt
Meet at: Lacks Dock slipway (see below for directions)
Duration: one hour
All welcome, no booking required
Cost: On-the-spot contribution of £5 to Museum of London’s Thames Discovery programme
Vauxhall is the hotspot of Thames marine archaeology because the tides and currents are fierce and the river veers northwards towards Westminster. It’s a combination that means that at Vauxhall the Thames is forever sweeping away one lot of history’s traces, only to uncover or deposit another.
Your guide on this hour-long Vauxhall Society Thames foreshore walk is Eliott Wragg, Field Officer of the Museum of London’s Thames Discovery Programme.
Kick-off is 11am from Lacks Dock Slipway at the side of MI6.
Make sure you wear weatherproof January clothing and, as the going can get quite muddy, sturdy footwear such as wellies or walking boots is a must. Eliott has chosen Wednesday 18 January because the tides are favourable, the sun and moon that week being roughly in alignment so exerting a greater gravitational force which means higher high and lower low tides.
You can never tell what you might see; it could be traces of prehistoric forest, or perhaps of a Neolithic jetty, Saxon fish trap or the detritus of Victorian industry.
The Thames is a study in itself. Pronounced ‘biologically dead’ in the 1950s, London’s river is now one of the world’s least-polluted metropolitan tideways. There’s about 120 species of fish out there.
And Lack’s Dock? Until the first Vauxhall Bridge was completed in 1816, Lack’s Dock was where revellers used to be rowed to for a night on the razzle at the nearby Vauxhall Gardens just across the road.
If you are tempted to walk the Thames foreshore at Vauxhall without a guide, DON’T GO ALONE.
- Make sure you know the tide times
- Don’t walk far from the slipway
- Be aware that solid-looking surfaces may be anything but…
- If you don’t feel up to walking over stones, this walk is not for you