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Cygnet Rowing Club
on the Tideway since 1890
CSSC Sports and Leisure
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  • Navigation buoy positioning

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 5th June 2020

    I hope members of your clubs are managing to get out on the water and enjoying sculling and where possible, some crew rowing.

    Some of your club members might be commenting on the position of buoys at low tide (I clipped one myself this week). The PLA have checked the position of all the buoys at high tide and they are all in the correct place. The lower than normal levels at the bottom of the tide is possibly making it difficult to navigate them. If you do come across any of the buoys in the wrong place please let the PLA or myself know

    All the best

    Tony Reynolds
    TRRC Safety Advisor

    email: safety[at]thames-rrc.org

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  • Hamhaugh Island Fire Safety Training

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 28th September 2019

    Hi all,

    I hope everyone had a good summer,

    As part of our ongoing work with Surrey Fire & Rescue, they have offered to come to the Island and give us a bit of training with pumps etc - so we can get a better grasp of how to use pumps and hoses in the unfortunate event of a fire.

    The date has been set for Saturday 28th September, time and location TBC, but most likely late morning It will be conducted at a relaxed, instructional pace, and I’m sure will be both informative and practical Everyone is welcome - and I would encourage at least one member of each household to attend if at all possible.

    Any questions please drop me a line Best wishes

    Mike Sedgwick
    Director at By This River
    Email mike@bythisriver.co.uk Website www.bythisriver.co.uk

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  • Fulham Football Ground Works (Updated)

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 22nd July 2019

    See NtMs U13 and U17 issued by the PLA, regarding works to the riverside stand at Fulham FC.

    See here for a presentation regarding the works. Once work commences there will be two warning buoys to alert river users to the works. The buoys should be installed by 24th June with work scheduled to start after 8th July. 

    A jack-up barge was put in place on Monday 22nd July

    Follow @FulhamFCWorks for up-to-date information.

    Antony Reynolds

    Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council


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  • Filming at Hammersmith

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 10th July 2019

    A reminder about the filming operations at Hammersmith bridge this Friday (12th July). Please see the NtM and if you're out during the day please navigate appropriately. Ideally avoid the area altogether

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  • Chiswick Pier navigation

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 10th July 2019

    A message from Wayne Bellamy at the RNLI. This message is fully endorsed by the PLA and the TRRC. In response the PLA will be monitoring coaching activity between Putney and Kew.

    Could you ask tin fish helms to not navigate between the inner and outer upstream residential pontoons at Chiswick pier please. The ramp to the outer is an overhead collision hazard, and occasional utility ducting and wiring hangs below it.

    There have been a couple near misses, and I really don’t want to see a decapitation on the doorstep of the lifeboat station

    Area of concern is shown below

    Chiswick Pier

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  • Updated Tideway Code

    Updated Tideway Code

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 12th June 2019

    The PLA has updated the Tideway Code and is essential reading for steers and coxswains but all active members should have a good understanding. 

    This new edition combines the Rowing Code (Third edition 2015) with the Paddling Code (First edition 2017) and there are also new wall charts for both the upper an lower Tideway Code areas.

    See the Safety and Navigation section for full details

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  • River issues this weekend

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 20th September 2018

    This Sunday (23rd) there is a Barrier closure between 10am and 5pm. This means the flow on the river may become slack. May I remind all clubs to navigate according to what the water flow is doing and not according to the tide tables. Also be aware about rowing on slack water, page 36 of the Tideway Code.


    The Tideway Foreshore is taking place on Sunday as well. Please be considerate when planning your rowing outings.


    The Met Office have a Yellow Warning for wind between 18:00 Thu 20th and 09:00 Fri 21st and between 09:00 Sun 23rd and 09:00 Mon 24th. Please be careful when deciding which crews should go out and consider using sheltered reaches.


    The strong winds have already bought down some large branches which are now in the river. I was made aware of one this morning between the Mile Post and Harrods. If you do see any large branches that have come down please notify myself or the PLA on VTS so that the obstruction can be removed.


    Antony Reynolds

    Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council

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  • Lighting-up time

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 9th September 2018


    Sunset is now at about 7.30pm so any evening outings are will require lights on the boat. Having a correctly lit boat is not just a PL requirement, it's also a legal requirement. The club has suitable lights so please use them - and recharge them afterwards.

    It's also advisable to where light or white kit when out in dark conditions


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  • Barrier Closures

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 7th September 2017

    See the timetable of Thames Barrier Closures

    These will almost certainly have an effect on the predicted tide. Remember to always navigate according to the direct of the visible stream, even if it contradicts what the tide table say should be happening.

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  • Lighting-up time

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 22nd August 2017

    From the regional Rowing Safety Advisor:

    In a few weeks summer will end, but already the nights are beginning to draw in with 15 minutes difference between sunrise in a week. Can you remind any crews boating in the evenings that they should consider if they need lights. The chances are that the batteries for lights haven’t been changed from when they were last used in the spring. Check that the batteries are in good condition and replace if necessary. Many clubs are beginning to have good lights for their boats and I will name Latymer School, as a club who have shown what is possible.

    Cygnet have USB charged lights that simply attach to the boat decks with a strong magnetic tape. It couldn't be easier so no excuses. The lights and charger are (or should be) with the cox boxes.

    BBC weather publish sunrise and sunset times and legally your boat must be correctly lit if out before sun rise or after sunset. Details are in the Rowing Code (page 15 & 16) or see below. Also note the bit about wearing bright or white clothing in low light

    boat lights

    boat lights 2

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  • Turning at Putney

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 22nd August 2017


    I think you will have noticed that a large barge has been moored projecting into the turning gap. There have already been some incidents of crews being swept on to the barge. We are hoping to get the PLA to accept that the positioning of that barge is hazardous to rowers, especially weaker ones. To do that we need to be able present the PLA with a report every time a crew has difficulties in the gap, however minor.

    So, please ask your members to inform you every time they have difficulties so they or you can generate a report. It will be the only way we can prove to the PLA what happens at the Gap.

    Best wishes,

    Bill Mitchell,
    TRRC / PLA Liaison

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  • Events in September

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 21st August 2017

    Please see the NtM links below for events at our end of the river in September that may possibly effect your outing plans:

    The Great River Race (on the Flood tide)
    Saturday 9th September, all afternoon, river closures above Richmond Lock between 15.00 and 18.00

    Sunday 10th September, 10.00 – 18.00, Strand-on-the-Green area

    SUP Big Ben Challenge
    Saturday 23rd September, 10.00 from Putney Embankment

    Hasler (Kayak Marathon) Finals
    Sunday 24th September, 10.15 – 13.30, above Richmond Bridge (includes river closures)

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  • Swimming in the river

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 20th June 2017

    A reminder about swimming in the tideway during this hot weather

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  • Transiting Richmond Weir

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 13th June 2017

    Compliance with Closed Arch Signs

    Close arch signs

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  • Turning at Putney - update

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 25th May 2017

    Today (25/05) the PLA will be restoring the mooring buoys in the temporary turning point. Once this work is completed the turning point reverts to the end of the moored boats at Putney Pier as shown in the PLA Rowing on the Tideway publication.

    Make sure your coxes and steers are aware of this before they boat and that care is taken if one of the clippers is in the vicinity of Putney Pier.

    Antony Reynolds

    Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council

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  • High tide clarification

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 25th May 2017

    The PLA have asked me to clarify where the time for High Water is considered with respect to the Tideway Code revision below. High Water at London Bridge is the time to used.

    Antony Reynolds

    Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council


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  • Plastic problem

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 18th April 2017

    No strictly a safety notice - unless you're a native species trying to live in the river - but certainly something we need to be proactive about.

    Some interesting reading in today’s Guardian;


    the Thames 21 report is here;


    As major users of the river and major users of water bottles, of various types, can we make sure all our bottles are removed from the foreshore after every outing.

    Let’s do our bit to keep the river we have a privilege to use and enjoy as clean as possible.


    Antony Reynolds

    Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council

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  • Putney navigation reminder

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 16th March 2017

    A timely reminder about the altered navigation at Putney due to the slipway work. This is mostly for the benefit of visiting crews as we hope, as locals, you are all fully aware already.

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  • Use of Drones

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 27th February 2017

    The PLA have asked me to inform all clubs of the following;

    It has recently been brought to the attention of the Port of London Authority (PLA) the use of a Drone by a rowing club, filming one of their crews racing a non-tideway club. Therefore we would like to remind all clubs that the tidal Thames is the busiest inland waterway in the UK and unregulated or careless use of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles carries many potential hazards – ranging from risk of injury to passengers / crew on boats through to collision with oncoming vessels. There are also hazards to users of London’s bridges and piers.

    Consequently, the river is not a safe place for the routine use of any type of low flying aircraft – manned or unmanned. In particular the Thames cannot be regarded as a convenient ‘corridor’ or ‘space’ for drone flying.

    However, there are occasions when professional film makers request use of a drone to film particular scenes and in such instances, the request will be considered carefully, taking into account the following:

    1. whether the applicant has carefully considered the potential hazards
    2. whether the operation can be achieved without a drone, therefore avoiding disruption and potential hazard to river operations, eg by:
    • filming from a boat on the river
    • using a jib arm / crane / cherry picker on dry land or on the tidal foreshore area
    • using a manned helicopter operating at a safe altitude that does not disrupt river traffic (eg using existing helicopter flight paths in London)


    In the event a drone is considered, this will be subject to the following requirements:

    1. A minimum of four weeks’ notice of must be provided
    1. The application should include:
    • proposed time and duration of filming
    • proposed location (to include a diagram showing flight area and take-off and landing site for the drone)
    • risk assessment and method statement
    • insurance including public liability
    • details of proposed drone operating company – ie CAA licences / certificates; type / size / weight of UAV
    1. Applicant will also need to secure the following written consents for the specific date and location
    • Civil Aviation Authority
    • National Air Traffic Services
    • relevant riparian (riverside) local authority and landowner consent where the drone flight and exclusion area will impact on adjacent land
    • Metropolitan Police filming unit (in the central London area)

    River traffic management

    If appropriate, a PLA Notice to Mariners will be issued and river traffic controlled by the PLA for the duration of any filming. The costs of both these activities must be borne in full by the film maker.

    It is a basic requirement that the drone maintains a minimum of at least 50 metres from any person; vessel; bridge; pier; or other structure.

    Filming Licence

    As with all filming and photography on the tidal Thames, a filming licence fee is also payable to the PLA. The fee must be agreed in advance with the PLA and settled in advance of the licence being issued

    Antony Reynolds

    Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council

    Mobile: +44 (0) 77 3415 7644

    Email: safety@thames-rrc.org

    Web: http://www.thames-rrc.org

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  • Rowing in the dark

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 9th February 2017

    Two years ago, almost to the day, the tragic death of Michael Hill occurred. This evening as I cycled along the embankment I saw an eight paddling of with the coach still on the bank. The eight had reached the Barnes Wetland Center with still no sign of the coach. Can I please remind all clubs about the instructions I put out two years ago, that are still relevant today:

    1. The compulsory wearing of kill cords by all drivers of launches.

    2. The wearing of a properly serviced life jackets by Coaches and Coxes and they are properly trained on how to wear and check such jackets. The use of an automatic inflation jacket is preferred unless coxing a bow coxed four

    3. If outings take place at night, it is strongly recommended that all life jackets be fitted with a lifejacket water activated flashing light.

    4. All Clubs should ensure that their outboard engines are properly serviced and most importantly checked to ensure they cannot start in gear and are working properly and that they are serviced to such levels regularly.

    5. The Regional Council at its recent meeting confirmed the request from the Port of London Authority that Clubs MUST ensure the restriction of lone use of both coaching launches and rowing boats at night.

    Explanation of lone use

    No single person should be out alone at night. They should always have a buddy with them. The following examples apply;

    A single scull should go out with another single scull or coach and they should remain in visual contact at all times.

    A rowing boat with a coach should remain in visual contact at all times. The “practise” of a boat paddling off while the coach starts the engine is not safe. The crew should wait with the coach until the coach is ready to depart.

    If going out at night make sure someone on shore knows you are going out and they know your expected return time. Importantly, let them know when you have finished your outing. Don’t rely on the outing log book.

    Make sure someone in each vessel is carrying a mobile phone in a waterproof bag with lanyard. Know which emergency service to call in case of difficulties.

    Can all clubs please ensure that this best practise is enforced.

    Thames Regional Rowing Council 01

    Antony Reynolds

    Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council

    Mobile: +44 (0) 7734157644

    Email: safety@thames-rrc.org

    Web: http://www.thames-rrc.org

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  • Videoing while coaching

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 6th February 2017

    The PLA launches have recently noticed some coaches videoing while coaching and driving the launch. This is a very dangerous practise and must stop. If your coaches want to record their crews rowing, then they must have a driver on board. One coach from a Tideway club was almost prosecuted for videoing while driving as he failed to spot another rowing boat and drove his launch over the bows of the other boat.

    The PLA will stop any coach they see videoing and driving and may take further action.

    Thames Regional Rowing Council 01

    Antony Reynolds

    Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council

    Mobile: +44 (0) 7734157644

    Email: safety@thames-rrc.org

    Web: http://www.thames-rrc.org

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  • Kew Rubbish Clearance

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 26th January 2017

    Dear All,

    At long last the PLA will be clearing debris at Kew, this Thursday 26th. Hopefully, they will be able to clear the passage through the inside arch.

    The work will be done by the Driftwood barge which is large and will take a lot of space. Also it is likely to create a lot of propwash. We have waited a long time for them to do this so we do not want anyone to get in their way. Also the sheer size of Driftwood and its propwash is like to create a hazard in the area near the bridge.

    It is possible that the work will take most of the day. So, for one day only, please do not allow your crews / scullers to go above Kew Rail bridge during the day on Thursday.

    Best wishes,

    Bill Mitchell


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  • Putney Slipway timetable

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 5th January 2017

    I have received the following information regarding barge movements at Putney during the construction of the slipway. Please make sure that rowing boats do not get in the way of these barges.

    Newtons Laws of Motion and the accompanying concepts of momentum should be enough to realise the barge is not going to be affected by a collision.

    The following barge movements are timetabled for the forthcoming weeks whilst the new slipway is constructed.

    Friday 6th January 2017 – 06:00
    First barge movement, this is for taking spoil away.

    Monday 9th January 2017
    Second barge movement, again for taking spoil away.

    Tuesday 10th January 2017
    Third barge movement, this will be bringing some building aggregates to site and for taking the final spoil away.

    Wednesday 11th January 2017
    The first building blocks for the new slipway will be delivered by barge. Thereafter this date, there will be one to two barge movements per week, until the construction works are completed on the new Putney Slipway (mid/late March).

    It should be noted, that Wandsworth Council have granted TTT permission to deliver and remove barges from site 24hrs per day, so that they can utilise the tides efficiently. Therefore I would suspect all barge movements will be at similar timings as tomorrow’s movement – i.e. approximate 1hr 30mins to 1hr before High Water at Putney.

    Thames Regional Rowing Council 01

    Antony Reynolds

    Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council

    Mobile: +44 (0) 77 3415 7644

    Email: safety@thames-rrc.org

    Web: http://www.thames-rrc.org

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  • Putney slipway work

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 22nd November 2016

    After the weekend of the Scullers Head, 26/27 November work will start on water of the construction site of a temporary slipway at Putney. Due to the nature of the construction site a set of floating booms will prevent rowing boats turning at the normal point. The attached document outlines the turning arrangements while the construction of the slipway takes place and have been confirmed with the PLA.

    Please make sure that all members of your club are aware of these new requirements, especially anyone who steers.


    Antony Reynolds

    Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council

    Update Wednesday 30.11

    I have been in contact with the PLA. Will all clubs please use the new “temporary” turning point as of now. (See link above for diagrams).

    Antony Reynolds

    Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council

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  • Putney Moorings

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 26th October 2016

    Please be advised that the first of the Tideway Tunnel works at Putney are due to start shortly. Therefore please advise your members accordingly.

    Week commencing:

    31st October PLA DRIFTWOOD will be in attendance for one-day to remove the PLA Trot moorings, near Putney Hard.

    14th November PLA DRIFTWOOD will be in attendance, to lay new mooring buoys where the old PLA Trot mooring had been removed from. These new moorings are for Chas Newens craft.

    21st November Chas Newens will vacate his existing moorings and move to the new mooring installed the previous week by the PLA DRIFTWOOD. Once this has been achieved by Chas Newens the PLA DRIFTWOOD will then return to remove the vacated Chas Newens moorings.

    I expect a Notice to Mariners to be issued shortly, to confirm the above but thought I would give you an early warning.

    Any issues or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me, the Harbour Service Launch or the TRRC.

    Kind Regards,

    Darren JA KnightCMgr

    Assistant Harbour Master (Recreational)

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  • Syon Reach Hazard

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 25th October 2016

    Please be advised that following an engine failure earlier this afternoon (Tuesday 25th) on board the Millennium of London, the vessel has been moored temporarily in Syon Reach on the Brentford Driftwood Moorings next to the large Dry-Dock, which has been in situ for a number of months.

    This will mean it will that the barge and passenger vessel will probably be laying quite a long way out into the main fairway, City Cruises (the operator) are looking to move it back to Dry-Dock at Isleworth tomorrow (26th October 2016).

    Therefore if you could avoid this area or pay extra caution, should your outing be planned to be in the vicinity of this mooring.

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  • Richmond Weir

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 13th October 2016

    There has been a number of incidents in recent months of various recreational river users passing underneath the weirs at Richmond Lock as they are being raised or lowered.

    This is a highly dangerous practice for any river user to attempt to pass underneath the weirs during these operations, as there is a high probability of falling debris from the gates at this time.

    Please can all members be reminded of this and to ensure that the weirs are fully ‘lifted’ and the arch closure signs have been removed prior to proceeding through the arch. Or, if the weir gates are being ‘lowered’, proceed with caution to the lock or the boat rollers on the north shore, and continue your transit along the Thames.

    Failure to follow the above safety advice or guidance given to you by the Duty Lock Foreman, then we will be taking firm action with the Master (and Coaches) moving forward.

    On a completely separate note: As most people have now been informed, Jon Beckett who had been undertaking the role of Assistant Harbour Master Recreational, moved to a new position within the PLA in September and I have resumed my role following a 2-year secondment. Any issues regarding sport & recreation or the river between Teddington to Putney, please do not hesitate to contact me in the first instance.

    Kind Regards,

    Darren JA KnightCMgr

    Assistant Harbour Master (Recreational)

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  • Bernie Thompson Race

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 24th September 2016

    Tideway Scullers are holding their annual Bernie Thompson Race on Sunday (25th) starting at 13:00. The course is from Chiswick Bridge to Barn Elms and back. Please make sure your members are aware this is taking place and let the scullers taking part race without hindrance.

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  • Scheduled Barrier closures

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 20th August 2016

    Scheduled Barrier closures. From November 2016 monthly closures for six months. These closures will affect the tide, particularly the flood.

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  • Tree problem

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 11th July 2016


    Please see attached images of a tree which has been secured to the foreshore at Chiswick. This tree will be removed as soon as possible, however please be aware, particularly on the ebb tide,


    Jon Beckett

    Assistant Harbour Master (Recreation)

    Port of London Authority


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  • PLA events calendar

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 1st April 2016

    The PLA now have an events calendar for all recreational events on the Tideway. It should be a very useful resource so bookmark this link <http://www.pla.co.uk/Events/Annual-Events-Calendar>

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  • PLA Safety Bulletin

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 6th January 2016

    Please take a moment to review this PLA Safety Bulletin regarding Life Jackets and Kill cords

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  • Foreshore work 11.12

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 11th December 2015

    The PLA are looking to do a foreshore tidy next Friday 11th December, starting at 10:00. If anyone can go along and help they will be welcome and once these rocks have been moved it will mean you are less likely to damage your boats. It would be good to see some support ecpecially from the Chiswick clubs.

    The PLA have asked Camilla at PTRC to use the car park there if people are driving, we’ll have PPE for everyone.

    The task will be moving the large rocks and stones from the foreshore / shoal and will be used for the revetment repair works starting next week.

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  • Astronomically high tides

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 30th September 2015

    Quite literally in fact. Exceptionally high tide are due over the next four months. Details here

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  • Thames Barrier Closure

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 27th September 2015

    On Sunday the Thames Barrier is due to be closed from 6:30am to 4:30pm for its full annual test closure. More details can be found at


    Please make sure all your members are aware that the stream might not be flowing normally and to keep a good lookout especially if the stream goes slack.

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  • Great River Race

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 12th September 2015

    Don’t forget that it’s the Great River Race this coming Saturday. You’ll probably all be in the pub for a pre-luncheon sherry by the time it comes past us but in case you were planning a late, flood tide outing…..don’t bother. You really don’t want to get mixed up with this lot!

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  • Swimming Event Thursday 3rd September

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 3rd September 2015

    Please be aware that a swimming event is taking place around Chiswick Eyot between 1820 and 1900 on Thursday 3rd September 2015. This is part of the Totally Thames Festival.

    For more details email Steve Newell on greatriverswim[at]blueyonder.co.uk

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  • Bomb Alert!

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 4th August 2015

    At 1437 hours, 3rd Aug 2015, London Coastguard was advised of a possible 6 lb. World War II shell, which had been picked up by a member of the public and deposited behind the first ladder down river of No1 Arch Putney Bridge, photos had also been taken CAD 5279/ 03/08/2015 refers.

    Police and Met EOD visited the site, however by the time they reached the location it was covered by the tide. No 1and 2 Arches Putney Bridge were closed to navigation. Police and MP EOD will return tomorrow to inspect the device at 1000 hours. HM(U) aware.

    Until the possible shell has been removed and the arches have been opened, keep away.

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  • University Post

    University Post

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 28th July 2015

    Over the weekend (25-26th July), the Boat Race Finish Post snapped. I have attached a photo to show what is left. It is not very rower friendly. The PLA have attached a buoy so that river users are aware of its position at high tide. Please make other club members aware of this hazard. The Boat Race are in the process of getting the post removed as soon as possible

    Thames Regional Rowing Council 01

    Antony Reynolds

    Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council

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  • Great River Swim

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 11th July 2015

    Dear all,

    Just be aware that the Great River Swim will be taking place on Saturday 11th July 2015 from Chiswick Pier starting at 10.40 a.m. Sounds to me like this is an area to stay well clear off so get those outings done before that time. All those practically invisible heads bobbing in the water....


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  • Battersea Bridge

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 8th May 2015

    From the RWSA:

    I’ve been informed by the traffic control officers at Battersea that they have had a few rowers come through the area that haven’t known about the Traffic Control.

    1, 2 and 5 arches are closed, leaving 3 and 4. Number 4 arch is impassable at low water, because of a depth of 0.3 above Chart Datum.

    It can get quite congested, with the clipper berth at Chelsea Harbour Pier, potentially only 1 arch at low water and works craft around the bridge.

    Crews would need to contact ‘Battersea Control’ when at Wandsworth or Battersea Road Bridges on VHF 14, or call 07714 126519. Alternatively, if outwards, they could come alongside the control boat on the bottom end of Imperial Wharf and speak with the crew before transiting the bridge. (Obviously not possible inward bound!)

    Works are due to complete around mid-August. Do you feel it’s a lot to ask if they carry a VHF or call the launch when needed until then?

    Unless you contact the duty launch by telephone or VHF radio no rowing crews are to proceed through Battersea Rail Bridge as per the NTM M15 of 2015. I have asked the PLA to report any clubs who disregard these instructions.

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  • Boat Race prep.

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 12th April 2015

    Boat Race preparations

    A quick reminder that yellow buoys will be laid by the PLA on the south side of the river between Chiswick Bridge and the Brewery. These buoys do affect the crossover so please be careful and keep a good look out.

    Dates and times leading up to the races.

    Thursday 9th April

    The river will be closed to traffic as follows:

    1500 until 1815 between Fulham Railway Bridge and Hammersmith Bridge

    Friday 10th April

    On Friday 10th April various activities will be taking place in preparation for the event as outlined here below:

    1. 0900 - BBC Rehearsal until approximately 1630

    2. 1200 - The Veterans race with accompanying craft

    3. 1605 - Osiris Blondie Race

    4. 1800 - RNLI alternative Boat Race – The river will be closed to traffic as follows:

    17:15 until 18:00 between Chiswick Pier and Kew Railway Bridge

    Vessels navigating in the area from Monday 06th April until Friday 10th April should take note of the following:

    - Rowing vessels and coaching launches not involved in the races are to avoid obstructing the races and the vessels following;

    Saturday 11th April

    Boat Race

    the river will be closed to navigation from:

    1450 until 1820 between Wandsworth Bridge and Kew Railway Bridge

    These activities are covered by the following;

    NTM U5 of 2015

    NTM U6 of 2015

    NTM M11 of 2015

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  • More Chiswick Bridge closures

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 1st April 2015

    Please see the diagram below regarding yet another arch closure at Chiswick Bridge. It’s the Surrey arch this time so the navigation has changed again: Essentially it's back to the old crossing zone above Chiswick Bridge between MAA and Putney Town, rather than the existing one below the bridge between the buoys at The Ship. Careful going through the Middlesex arch passed TSS at low water, we’ve already lost a couple of fins on that beach in the last month.

    The Middlesex arch is due to close at the end of the month an into May but that shouldn’t affect normal navigation for us.

    More details on the NTM

    chiswick bridge surery arch

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  • New Life Jackets

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 15th March 2015

    I won’t go into detail but due to the age and condition of the existing kit, it was ultimately decided to purchase new life jackets for use by coxes and coaches at the club. They are essentially just slightly more powerful and more modern versions of the old jackets.


    There are three blue jackets which are the ones to use as a general rule. These are auto–inflating but with a manual firing toggle as well. This jacket has a single strap that goes under the crotch and attaches to the belt with a simple clip. Please use this strap, it’s there for a reason.

    There is one red jacket which is a manual–inflation only jacket. It is fine to use generally but has been purchased specifically for use when coxing the bow loader coxed four (Peter Roche). The auto–inflaters should never be worn in a bow loader. This jacket has a single strap that goes under the crotch and attaches to the belt with a simple clip. Please use this strap, it’s there for a reason.

    The three blue auto jackets are also fitted with a water–activated emergency light. Please take care of this kit and hang it up to dry in the usual place after every outing. We have found jackets lying about in launches or discarded on the floor recently which is not the best way to treat a piece of life saving equipment. If you have any questions or concerns about these new jackets (or life jackets in general) then please ask me. Please report any damage, activated or missing life jackets.

    Please remember that ALL coxes and coaches should wear a life jacket when afloat (because they are generally wearing more clothing and boots) and that the jacket should be worn on the outside of all other clothing.

    That is all.


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  • Chiswick Bridge closures

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 4th March 2015

    The centre arch of Chiswick Bridge will be closed from Thursday 5th until Friday 13th March and then again from Tuesday 17th until Friday 27th March. The adjusted navigation is as per the previous closures and is attached again. There is also a copy on the notice board at the club. If in doubt, go downstream.


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  • Launch driving &amp; Life jackets

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 26th February 2015

    Please read the following Safety Alerts from British Rowing regarding advice about

    Launch driving & Kill cords

    Life Jackets

    Please contact the CWSA if you have any queries or concernes

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  • Thames Barrier Closures

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 16th February 2015

    Scheduled Barrier closures 2015

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  • Clean-up cages 17th Feb

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 16th February 2015

    Please find attached image showing the locations for some baskets the PLA are laying for Thames 21 next week.

    The 3 baskets at Hammersmith will be laid by the Driftwood 2 on Tuesday 17th February.

    The clean up in that area is on Thursday 19th.

    The baskets will be recovered as soon after the event as possible but due to tides this may not be till Monday 23rd or Tuesday 24th February.

    All baskets will be marked with a yellow buoy.

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  • Serious incident 2nd Feb

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 3rd February 2015

    To all London Clubs

    You are probably aware of the tragic incident that occurred yesterday evening. Michael coached both at Thames Rowing Club and Latymer School. I have repeated messages from both clubs at this difficult time. I would ask that all clubs ask their members to respect both Thames RC and Latymer Sc. BC wishes at this difficult time.

    British Rowing and the TRRC will keep all clubs informed of any developments.

    Below is the message sent to all Thames Rowing Club members.

    Dear members,

    We report with great sadness that Mike Hill, a volunteer coach of the women's squad, is still missing this evening.

    It is currently believed that Mike fell into the Thames from his launch near the Black Buoy at around 19:20 this evening. The police and lifeboat were called to the scene to undertake a search of the area.

    At 22:30 this evening, the police called off their search for the night and will resume it again tomorrow when it is low tide.

    They have asked that we leave them to undertake the search by themselves. Any voluntary assistance is more likely to hinder them.

    They will undertake a low tide search a further 3 times before deciding on the next step.

    Any further developments will be reported to the next of kin, before being communicated to the club.

    Our deepest sympathy and thoughts go out to Mike's family and friends at this difficult moment.

    Phil McGee head of rowing at Latymer School has released the following statement;

    A tragic incident this evening. Having just spoken to Michael's partner I'm trying to spread the word to request that people refrain from facebook / twitter comms regarding this for the consideration of his family, in particular his eldest son who rows.

    Thames Regional Rowing Council 01

    Antony Reynolds

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  • Lights

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 29th January 2015

    It has come to the notice of the TRRC that to many boats are going out in the morning and evening without proper lighting. As a reminder of the requirement laid out by the PLA I have attached two documents regarding the lighting required by rowing and coaching boats.

    Some crews have failed to have both a bow and stern light clearly visible from 800m. Either the crew has only put one light on the boat or the battery in the light needs replacing. Remember it is not good enough just to have a lights on the boat, they also need to be bright enough. Batteries are not expensive.

    Coaches have a responsibility to make sure that the crew they are coaching is correctly lit as well as their launch.

    To make sure clubs are abiding with the PLA lighting requirements, I have requested that the PLA launches stop any boat that does not have the correct lights showing. I would also point out the rule that exists for all Tideway heads, namely; “Any crew or club which is involved in a verifiable navigation incident on the Tideway may be excluded from the event. This rule will be apply to incidents for the fourteen days prior to and including the day of the event.”

    Antony Reynolds

    Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council

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  • Sailing Events on the River in 2015

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 20th January 2015

    The 2015 Sailing Events calendar can be seen on this NTM

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  • Remenham Challenge

    Author: Safety Advisor | Date: 11th December 2014

    The Remenham Challenge takes place this weekend - Saturday 13th - starting at 10:00. 42 crews will marshal from the Chiswick Steps crossing up towards Barnes Bridge on the Surrey Bank. The Race is from Chiswick Pier to Putney Embankment. With 42 crews the race will not take long to run, so could I ask that non racing crews allow competing crews to complete the course without hindrance.

    Antony Reynolds

    Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council

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  • Chiswick Bridge Works #4

    Author: Safety Advisor | Date: 27th November 2014

    Please see this NTM concerning the final arch closures relating to work on Chiswick Bridge. Closures to arches #1 and #3 this week (ending 28th November) and arch #2 next week (ending 5th December). Works are mostly carried out overnight but closures do extend well into the morning (10.00am) and no special navigation rules for rowing boats have been agreed.

    Advice is to spin before the bridge if you are rowing that early in the morning for the next couple of weeks.

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  • Chiswick Bridge works #3

    Chiswick Bridge works #3

    Author: Safety Advisor | Date: 3rd November 2014

    The attached (pdf) is the proposed navigation during the closure of the central (No. 2) arch from Monday 3rd November. It is important that all crews follow this navigation guidance. The important detail is that during times when both the Middlesex (No. 3) and Surrey (No. 1) arches are passible crews will not have to contact Chiswick Bridge Control. It therefore makes sense that crews and coaches try to plan their outings accordingly.

    This exception to NTM U25 of 2014 has been made after consultation between the TRRC and the PLA. It is up to all of us to make sure we make this exception works. I would ask all clubs to take special care when navigating Chiswick Bridge. Please make sure that your crews are courteous to any PLA personal who will be controlling navigation through the Bridge and follow any directions given by them.


    If while navigating Chiswick Bridge during the next few weeks you have any doubts about how to navigate please ask the personal on the Duty Boat (Chiswick Bridge Control) using VHF CH 14, telephone 07711640057, or if you’re in a launch by going up alongside.


    Antony Reynolds

    Regional Water Safety Adviser

    Thames Regional Rowing Council

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  • Chiswick Bridge works #2

    Chiswick Bridge works #2

    Author: Safety Advisor | Date: 20th October 2014

    On Monday (20th October) the Surrey Arch of Chiswick Bridge will be closed while the Middlesex Arch will be re–opened. This requires rowers to modify their normal navigation at Chiswick Bridge. Please see the attached diagram (pdf) showing navigation for rowing boats while the Surrey arch is closed. U25 of 2014

    Will clubs please make sure all coaches and rowers are aware of this change. The Fours Head is in two weeks’ time and I expect we will have a number of visitors wanting to practise for the event particularly next weekend. If you are hosting a club please make sure they are aware of the temporary change in navigation. The weekend of the Fours Head normal navigation rules will apply.

    The next arch closure will be after the Fours Head weekend, when the central arch will be shut.



    Antony Reynolds

    Regional Water Safety Adviser

    Thames Regional Rowing Council

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  • Chiswick Bridge Works

    Author: Safety Advisor | Date: 7th October 2014

    Transport For London in con junction with the PLA are doing the final parts of restoring and cleaning Chiswick Bridge. This means that the following arches will be closed to river traffic.

    Friday 10th October until Monday 20th October No. 1 (Middlesex) Arch will be closed.

    Tuesday 21st October until Friday 31st October No. 3 (Surrey) Arch will be closed.

    Monday 3rd November until Thursday 13th November No. 2 (Centre) Arch will be closed.

    The closure of No. 1 arch will badly affect crews boating from TSS however most other clubs should not be affected and normal rowing circulation will be able to take place. I would ask that crews take especial care when rowing in the vicinity of Chiswick Bridge during the coming weeks.

    A large barge has been moored on the Surrey bank at the crossing point. Will all crews be extra vigilant when crossing especially at night.

    The two relevant NTM’s which cover the works being carried out are U25 of 2014 and U26 of 2014

    Next week I will send out another email covering the circulation pattern to be adopted at different stages of the tide when No. 3 arch is closed followed by an email to cover No. 2 arch closure.

    Please make sure all members of your club are aware of the works being carried out and the special navigation procedures that we will have to adopt.


    Antony Reynolds

    Regional Water Safety Adviser

    Thames Regional Rowing Council

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  • Seasonal notes from the RWSA

    Author: Safety Advisor | Date: 26th September 2014

    The Pairs Head is only a few weeks away and with the Fours Head on the horizon, clubs are keen to get mid-week outings in. It is quite apparent that some of the lights being used have not been checked since the spring and that a set of new batteries would not go amiss. Can you please make sure your club has made sure that the lights being used are fit for purpose. The PLA may well be doing some evening patrols checking that crews do have suitable lights on their boats.

    Last weekend there were not many incident reports submitted, but the previous weekend with the tide turning mid-morning the number of reports submitted showed that some crews did not understand the correct navigation procedures. It is up to clubs and especially coaches if out to make sure their crews navigate correctly at all times. Clubs may well have new members including new coaches who do not know the tideway that well, please make sure they are fully versed in the rules regarding navigation.

    The PLA have been out spotting coaches not wearing kill cords - put them on.

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  • Bernie Thompson Race - 13th September

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 10th September 2014

    Dear Tideway Captains and CWSAs,

    Tideway Scullers will be holding our annual race in memory of my late doubles partner Bernie Thompson from Chiswick Bridge to Beverley Brook and back next Saturday the 13th at 11am. We’ve done this for many years and have hopefully developed a way of doing this which causes minimal concern to others. What we do is to marshall between MAA and UL on the Middlesex bank, then set groups of 10 scullers off with at least a minute gap between them so that we don’t block the crossings etc. We turn around a moored boat at Beverley Brook before heading for home. Essentially it’s no difference from having a group of scullers training together, there just will be a series of such groups.

    We’ll be finished by 12.45.

    If anyone has any concerns or knows of any random events happening that might cause problems do let me know! I shall be competing so encouragement welcome (but abuse expected)


    Chris Williams


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  • Sunken Hazard

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 18th August 2014

    Please be advised that there is a sunken vessel in Syon Reach on the Surrey bank, near the Number 3 marker on the wall.

    It is the PLA’s intentions to recover this vessel on Tuesday 12th August 2014 over the AM low water.

    Could you please ensure that your club members have been made aware of this hazard to navigation.

    Many thanks.

    Kind Regards,
    Darren JA Knight
    Assistant Harbour Master Recreational

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  • Lights

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 11th July 2014

    Chaps and ladies,

    To quote the old cliché, the nights are drawing in. Please remember that we have passed the longest day and that sunset will gradually get earlier and earlier. If you are planning a long or late starting evening outing please consider lights on the boat.

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  • Chiswick Bridge

    Author: Neil Pickford | Date: 7th July 2014

    Please see the RWSA's note and NTM link below. These closures should not really affect us as they occur outside of our normal outing times and are mostly overnight. However, for those of you with the luxury of time to have a weekday morning paddle please make sure that you avoid clashing with the arch closures. For clarification the arches are numbered from the North/Middlesex shore.


    "There have been complaints that particularly last weekend rowers were ignoring the Chiswick Bridge arch closure as described in this NTM. Rowers have also been ignoring instructions from the safety boat in attendance. The No.1 arch is the Middlesex Arch, No2 the Central Arch and the No.3 Arch is the Surrey Arch. Currently No.1 Arch is shut and will not be open until 10:00 on 31st May. No.3 arch will be shut from 10:00 1st June and will remain shut until 22:00 8th June.

    The reasons for the arch closure is your own safety. The contractors and safety boat have been asked to note any boat id’s of crews ignoring the NTM and when possible take photographic evidence. The Thames Regional Rowing Council will take strong action against any club found to be putting its members at risk by allowing them to ignore safety advice in the form of an NTM."

    Anthony Reynolds, RWSA, TRRC

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