Totally Thames, the annual festival that celebrates the culture, environment and heritage of the River Thames, turns 25 this year with exciting events across London. Marvel at London’s bridges as Leo Villareal’s Illuminated River lights up the Thames every night alongside a mini-festival of events, explore the foreshore with Mudlarking at St Paul’s Cathedral, take a deep dive into the history of dockside communities with The Islanders and see river-themed art from children across the globe come together at the National Maritime Museum in Rivers of the World. The whole 2021 programme will be accessible both in person and online to ensure that everyone can enjoy the festival.
Before 1850, Silvertown was a bleak stretch of uninhabited marshland east of the city, with some parts up to 10 feet below sea level; smuggling and illegal prize-fighting was commonplace. The Islanders follows the history of Silvertown and North Woolwich starting at the point when the industrial revolution reached the riverside, followed by the devastation of war in the 1940s, to the blossoming docklands area that is being developed for a new generation. The Islanders will include a photography exhibition held at Thames Barrier Park, as well as walking tours and talks held in North Woolwich and the Royal Docks.
Mudlarking is a hugely popular pastime that has revealed many historical gems and unusual finds on the foreshore over the years. This year, Totally Thames takes a closer look at the river shore with a number of fascinating mudlarking events. Mudlarks have been present along the Thames for hundreds of years, and modern day mudlarks continue the tradition. Hands On History present Mudlarking at St Paul’s Cathedral, an exhibition of the fascinating objects collected by mudlarkers over several decades.
Thames Festival Trust London E14 0FJ
Wed 1 Sep 2021 to Thu 30 Sep 2021