‘Through the porthole – the pleasures, perils and pitfalls of houseboat living on the Thames’: a double-bill presentation from Chiswick Pier Trust and the River Thames Society
Over a thousand people live afloat on the Thames between Teddington Lock and the Thames Barrier. To the outsider, these floating villages look like an idyllic and affordable alternative to the over-heated London housing market. Whilst the great views of the river, the sense of community and the closeness of nature are genuine, it’s not always plain sailing. This double bill, presented as part of TideFest 2017, gives a more realistic view of life on the Thames, including the complicated and unregulated process of buying a houseboat.
1:45pm: ‘Life Afloat’ – Film on the Pleasures and Perils of Houseboat-living on the tidal Thames
Life Afloat is a 55 minute film which delves into the stories of house boat residents and challenges the romantic view of life afloat. Residents interviewed for the film include actor Imogen Stubbs, who likens living on a boat to ‘living in a whale or a womb’, and artist Denis Postle who describes the experience as ‘like living inside a cello or a double bass’. The film looks at how tidal life for these communities has changed throughout the decades. Originally a pursuit for bohemians and those with little income, changes have taken place alongside those of London house prices and river-side property development. The film reflects on these changes and the impact it will have on the future of these floating communities.
Registration and refreshments from 1:30pm.
3:00pm: ‘Buying a Houseboat on the Thames - Understanding the Risks and Pitfalls’ - Talk from Hilary Pereira of the River Thames Society
Buying a houseboat on the Thames is a high-risk venture in an increasingly expensive yet unregulated market. There are many questions to consider and speaker Hilary Pereira will guide the audience through these, including the differences from buying a flat and provide an illustrated guide to the various pitfalls that can catch out unwary buyers. Hilary is the chair of the Upper Tideway branch of the River Thames Society and has prepared a checklist on this issue which can be found on the River Thames Society website. She has lived afloat for many years, initially on the canals, but, for the last 40 years, on the Thames where she has also brought up two children on board. This is a unique opportunity to hear from an experienced Houseboat resident and owner.
Time: 1:30 – 4:00pm
Venue: Pier House, Chiswick Pier Trust, Corney Reach Estate, Chiswick, London W4 2UG
Admission: £3 per event or £5 for both. (no charge for pensioners or under 16s)