All posts by pippabutterfield

Raise money for us by drinking beer!

The Hampton Beer Festival, which takes place this weekend, is supporting RTBP as one of its local charities this year.  You can find details about the festival here. So, if you would like to enjoy a cool beer this weekend, buy a ticket and support the charity at the same time: what could be better?

New boat named!

Our new boat has a name! We received 150 excellent suggestions in the competition to find a name for the new boat.  After a rigorous shortlisting process, two names were put forward to a ballot of our Members and volunteers at our AGM last week, after which we had to wait for final confirmation from the Environment Agency that the name was available.

The winners of the competition are new volunteer Eric McMaster and has wife Penny, who will be guests on a special celebratory cruise when the new boat arrives on the Thames.  And the winning name is – fanfare of trumpets and a drumroll –  ‘Thames Discoverer’, which reflects the spirit of cruises she will be doing and contributes to establishing, alongside ‘Thames Venturer’, branding of our work – venturing out and discovering the river.

Miranda made a flying visit to Fowey last Friday to meet Paul Toms and our Naval Architect Graham Westbrook – ‘Thames Discoverer’ is taking shape!


New Directions to the Venturer and Parking

Kingston Council have changed the traffic controls in and around Downhall Road. Please be advised that you can no longer turn off the one way system at Bentalls into Downhall Road. Similarly you can no longer access Downhall Road from the Entrance to John Lewis car park.

To access the boat  – when on the Kingston one way system – follow signs to Seven Kings car park, Richmond, Petersham and Ham on A307, when passing under railway lines, be in the left hand lane to turn left immediately you rise out of the underpass following signs for Seven Kings car park. At the lights turn left. Go past the entrance to the car park and take the first left immediately after the car park into Skerne Road. Turn right at the end into Downhall Road and follow this to the end and the entrance to Thameside car park.

Car parking – Unfortunately we have no control over who parks behind the barrier at the entrance to Canbury Gardens and cannot guarantee parking spaces. As a result we are advising all client groups who wish to park vehicles to have a blue badged vehicle . These can be parked in Thameside car park or any parking bay in Downhall Road free of charge – do not display the time disc, blue badge parking is not restricted.

Could you do it for the River Thames Boat Project?

Spotted this week, was this team of trans-Atlantic rowers who were enjoying calmer waters while rowing from source to sea to raise money for  the Crohn’s disease charity. If you would like to raise money for the boat project by taking on this great journey and fantastic challenge please get in touch: 020 8940 3509 or


Oxygen breathe life into the river

Youth group Oxygen spent an energetic weekend on the Thames Venturer in July learning valuable leaderships skills. The team also learnt to crew the boat on a trip to Windsor and back. Thanks to the hot weather, swimming from the boat was enjoyed at suitable spots along the way.

We look forward to many more trips with Oxygen and are keen to hear from other youth groups interested in running educational and personal development activities from the boat.

Oxygen trip July 2016

The Finish Line!

Skipper Peter returned to work last week happy to have got to the finish line of the Etape du Tour 2016 , happier and humbled that through your very generous donations, over £4000 has been raised for the boat project. The fund raising page will remain open for a few more weeks for those that would like to add to the total and help us reach the target of £5000.  Click here to donate.

He said, “A beautiful day dawned for the race with clear blue skies but also blazing sunshine and 30 degree heat.   I have never cycled on closed roads with quite so many other cyclists. There were lots of people out on the roadside providing support which was great especially on the climbs which got successively harder. The descents were dangerous too with a few riders crashing.

Here are a couple of pictures to give you a sense of the event.

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Ordinary people can do extraordinary things – once was enough for me but if you’d like to raise money for the Boat Project, I’m happy to pay the entry fee for the next fundraising event – it doesn’t have to be cycling, you may want to run, swim or walk. Please contact Sonja Freebody to sign up!”